ONGC, Bharti and HDFC power frontline indices to new lifetime highs

The markets opened the day with a positive gap, but the mood was largely indecisive even as the sensex went above the 8300-mark in early trades. Worries about an impending correction induced some selling soon after opening and the indices slipped into the red within half an hour.

Buying emerged in select frontline stocks soon after and the markets brushed aside all worries and rallied ahead on the back of heavy institutional buying. From then on, it was a one way move upwards till late in the afternoon when some profit booking emerged.

The indices recovered from the pressure and more buying in the closing minutes took them to the day's highs. The sensex went within 10 points of the 8400-mark and the Nifty closed above 2550 with ease.

Strong buying in ONGC helped the frontline indices as the stock touched a new lifetime high of Rs1,036 before closing with gains of over 2 per cent at Rs1,023.

HDFC and Bharti were the biggest gainers among index stocks, both gaining over 6 per cent each on heavy institutional buying. ICICI Bank recovered from early weakness and powered its way in afternoon trades to close with gains of over 2 per cent.

Sensex closed at 8381, a gain of 97 points, and the Nifty at 2552, a gain of 28 points. Nifty September futures closed at a discount of 13 points to the spot index.