Technology, private bank stocks take Sensex to 8500

Markets opened the day in a very nervous fashion and the frontline indices declined by more than three-quarters-of-a-per cent within 10 minutes.

Buying in ONGC and Tata Steel led to a recovery within an hour. Though these stocks could not sustain the gains later in the day, the lead was taken over by technology stocks. Infosys surged well above 2 per cent on strong buying. Satyam, HCL technologies and TCS also saw substantial gains.

Heavy buying in private sector bank stocks, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank, in afternoon trades led to further gains for the indices. ICICI Bank, which was trading flat till early afternoon, surged more than 5 per cent to touch a lifetime high. The stock closed with gains of close to 5 per cent. HDFC Bank added more than 3 per cent.

Strong gains in Reliance Industries also helped the indices to maintain the levels in late trades. The stock closed the day with gains of close to 2 per cent.

Sensex closed at 8500, a gain of 55 points, and the Nifty at 2578, a gain of 11 points. Nifty September futures closed at a discount of 12 points to the spot index.

ICICI Bank, HCL Technologies and HDFC Bank were the biggest gainers on the Nifty while Maruti, SCI and MTNL were the major losers.