The Finance minister will be walking on a knife edge when he presents an interim budget for the coming fiscal year on Monday, giving out more funds to woo voters and tax cuts to support industry while projecting a lower fiscal deficit before elections.Analysts are not betting on any major policy announcement, but will await the fine print on how Chidambaram meets his fiscal deficit target of 4.8 per cent for the current fiscal year.
Data showing wholesale prices-based inflation eased to an eight-month low in January also lifted investors' sentiment.The Sensex closed up 0.86 per cent at 20,366.82, while the Nifty ended higher 0.79 per cent at 6,048.35.The BSE index fell 0.05 per cent on a weekly basis, while the NSE lost 0.2 per cent.
The FII's bought shares worth Rs. 399 crore on Thursday, exchange data showed. Foreign investors were net buyers for a second straight session after a nine-day selling streak in the secondary share market, data showed.
Shares in software services companies gained on defensive-buying by institutional investors, traders said. Infosys gained 1.63 per cent, while Tata Consultancy Services ended up 1.6 per cent.Shares in telecom companies rose after they won airwaves in the premium 900 megahertz band spectrum.Bharti Airtel ended up 0.86 per cent and Idea Cellular closed higher 0.68 per cent.
Shares of Bajaj Auto ended 3.32 per cent lower on news that Egypt's government is proposing a ban on import of motorbikes and three-wheelers, which is an important export market for the Indian company.
Shares in Future Retail ended up 1.29 per cent after gaining as much as 20 per cent earlier in the day, after the company's October-December quarterly earnings beat estimates.