Mumbai: Equity benchmarks rallied Wednesday after the Economic Survey said that the current economic downturn may have run its course, and things were looking up. However, mid-cap shares continued to be under pressure as cash-strapped traders unwound their positions, unable to pay the margins required to hold them.
The Sensex rose 137.27 points to close at 19152.41 and the Nifty ended at 5796.90, up 35.55 points over the previous close. Brokers say stocks would have also got a leg up due to short covering of positions after Tuesday's crash when the Sensex shed over 300 points.
But they said Wednesday' rise notwithstanding, near term outlook on the market had soured, unless Finance Minister P Chidambaram had some solid positive surprises in the Union Budget 2013-14. The Economic Survey too raised plenty of red flags even as it provided a glimmer of hope.
Jet Airways led gainers in the Sensex, climbing as much as 20 per cent intra-day after Etihad Airways said it had paid $70 million for three slots of Jet at London's Heathrow airport. The stock closed at Rs 534.85, up 19.3 per cent over its previous close.
The latest development raised hope among investors that Etihad is on track to buy a stake in Jet Airways. The stock had fallen sharply on Tuesday on concerns that the deal may not materialize.
Larsen & Toubro, ONGC, Bajaj Auto, Mahindra & Mahindra and BHEL were the other key gainers, rising between 2-3 per cent. Core Education was the biggest loser among mid-caps, falling 46 per cent to close at Rs 60, even as the management maintained that the company was doing fine operationally.
In the last three sessions, the stock has fallen nearly 80 per cent. Shares of Educomp Solutions, Opto Circuits, Pipavav Defence, Welspun Corp and Delta Corp were down between 4-8 per cent.