The domestic stock markets traded firmly in the green in the afternoon session on Monday, on strong quarterly results. At 12:26 pm, the S&P BSE Sensex traded at 33,597.26, up 247.95 points or 0.74 per cent, while the Nifty50 barometer of the National Stock Exchange was at 10,108.15, with a gain of 78.15 points or 0.78 per cent. The Sensex surged as much as 322.68 points over its previous close of 33,349.31, and the Nifty 99.95 points over 10,030, the closing level on Friday.
Thirty six out of 50 Nifty stocks traded with gains.
ICICI Bank led the advances - up over 8 per cent - on both the benchmarks, after it reported a better bad loan ratio in the quarter that ended September as compared to the April-June period. The net profit, however, fell 56 per cent to Rs. 909 crore.
"ICICI's results stood out, and money is moving there, which is much cheaper than Kotak and HDFC," Naveen Kulkarni, Head of Research at Reliance Securities, was quoted as saying in a report by news agency Reuters. "ICICI, which has been lagging the other two banks, could now be playing catch-up."
Other key gainers in the Nifty pack were Axis Bank (up 6.01 per cent), Dr Reddy's Laboratories (up 5.34 per cent), State Bank of India (up 4.17 per cent) and Indiabulls Housing Finance (up 3.92 per cent).
All sectoral indices on the NSE traded in the green. The Nifty PSU Bank - the index of state-run banks - advanced over 6 per cent as all of its 12 stocks gained. The Nifty Pharma - the index of healthcare stocks - surged over 4 per cent as all of its 10 shares gained in trade.
Technical experts said that the markets may trade in a tight range. "The recent vertical wave towards south has been halted near the psychological level of 10,000-mark. The major threshold for bulls is placed near 10,250. So we are of the opinion that the Nifty may trade in a tight range of 10,000-10,250. So rather than going for a directional view, one should go for stock-specific action," said Dyaneshwar Padwal, AVP Technical Analyst, KIFS Trade Capital.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.2 per cent, having climbed 1 per cent earlier while South Korea's KOSPI stumbled 1.6 per cent. Shanghai's SSE Composite faltered 2.5 per cent.
On Friday, US' S&P 500 ended at its lowest level since early May, reported news agency Reuters. The Nasdaq registered its biggest weekly drop since March 23 after confirming a correction earlier in the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 296.24 points, or 1.19 per cent, to 24,688.31, the S&P 500 lost 46.88 points, or 1.73 per cent, to 2,658.69 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 151.12 points, or 2.07 per cent, to 7,167.21.
On Friday, foreign portfolio investors sold while domestic institutional investors bought net equities of Rs. 1,356.66 crore and Rs. 1,875.89 crore respectively, showed provisional NSE data. (With Reuters inputs)