BENGALURU- Indian shares rose to their highest levels in a week on Thursday, led by energy and technology stocks, as the market looked past fears over the Omicron coronavirus variant to focus on domestic factors, including strong economic data.
The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index ended up 1.37% at 17,401.65, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex advanced 1.35% to 58,461.29.
Both indexes recorded their biggest one-day gain in a month after sharply dropping last week and see-sawing on fears over the Omicron variant.
The Nifty IT index climbed over 2% and was the top sub-index performer on the blue-chip index on Thursday. The gains were led by MindTree Ltd, Mphasis Ltd and L&T Technologies, up between 3.1% and 3.2%.
The Nifty Energy Index ended up 1.65% after climbing as much as 1.75% earlier in the session. The sub-index was boosted by shares of transmission companies Adani Transmission and Power Grid Corporation of India, up 4.9% and 3.5%, respectively.
State-controlled refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp was also among the top performers on the sub-index with a 2.7% gain.
Oil prices rose on Thursday, with Brent crude futures up 1.8%, but gains were capped amid fears the Omicron variant will hurt fuel demand.
"As the volatility index cooled off today, we witnessed stock-specific action across sectors in the broader markets, buoyed by gross domestic product & goods and services tax data," S Ranganathan, head of research at LKP securities, said in a note.
Among individual stocks, heavyweight Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd and pharma major Sun Pharmaceutical Industries pushed the Nifty higher, gaining about 3.8% and 2.8% respectively.
Meanwhile, India's largest private health insurance firm Star Health and Allied Insurance Company Ltd's initial public offering subscription will end later in the day.
(Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich, Subhranshu Sahu and Maju Samuel) ((Vishwadha.Chander@thomsonreuters.com; Mobile: +91 7506036802; Twitter: https://twitter.com/vishwadha;))