MUMBAI (Reuters) - The BSE Sensex rose more than 1.5 percent on Thursday to snap a three-day losing streak as lenders such as ICICI Bank (ICBK.NS) surged on value buying, earnings expectations and hopes of gains in bond portfolios after the Reserve Bank of India's biggest debt auction.
Government bonds jumped on Thursday, recovering from two sessions of falls, after the central bank fully sold the 200 billion rupees ($3.31 billion) worth of debt on offer.
Investors say Thursday's surge shows the uptrend in Indian equities continues, supported by expectations of a turnaround in the domestic economy and on hopes the Bharatiya Janata Party, India's main opposition which is seen as more business friendly, would come to power.
Foreign flows and January-March earnings will continue to set the direction for the markets as India's five-week long election continues, with voting in Mumbai scheduled for April 24.
Overseas investors sold Indian shares worth 446.9 million rupees ($7.4 million) on Wednesday, provisional exchange data shows, marking their third consecutive session of outflows.
"India is an island of growth among the emerging markets. India is clearly standing out on macros. The market is reacting positively in the hope of better governance," said Dipak Acharya, equity fund manager at Baroda Pioneer AMC.
The Sensex rose 1.58 percent, or 351.61 points, to end at 22,628.84, while ending flat for the week.
The Nifty gained 1.56 percent, or 104.10 points, to end at 6,779.40, marking a weekly gain of 0.05 percent.
Indian markets will be closed on Friday for the Good Friday holiday and on Thursday, April 24 for elections.
The NSE Bank index surged 1.8 percent after falling nearly 3 percent in three straight days of declines, led by a 3.3 percent gain in ICICI Bank and a 2.3 percent rise in Axis Bank (AXBK.NS).
Among state-run banks, State Bank of India gained 3 percent, while Punjab National Bank (PNBK.NS) rose 2 percent.
Reliance Industries (RELI.NS) rose 1.9 percent a day before its earnings report.
Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS.NS) gained 1.2 percent after its CEO said the company expected a further rise in revenue growth in the new financial year.
HCL Technologies (HCLT.NS) gained 0.9 percent after the company reported better-than-expected net profit for the January-March quarter on the back of increasing demand for outsourcing services.
MindTree Ltd (MINT.NS) surged 2.3 percent after the company on Wednesday said its January-March net profit rose 24 percent to 982 million rupees ($16.3 million).
Piramal Enterprises Ltd (PIRA.NS) ended 1.5 percent higher after it agreed to buy a 20 percent stake in unlisted Shriram Capital Ltd for 20.14 billion rupees ($334 million), increasing its foothold in the financial services sector.
Shriram Capital is the holding company for the Chennai-based Shriram group, which controls Shriram Transport Finance Co Ltd (SRTR.NS) and Shriram City Union Finance (SHCU.NS), which ended 3 and 1.4 percent higher, respectively.
Tata Global Beverages Ltd (TAGL.NS) gained 4.6 percent after Deutsche Bank started coverage on the company with a "buy" rating and a target price of 200 rupees, calling it a "turnaround story,".
Hathway Cable and Datacom Ltd (HAWY.NS) surged 5.7 percent after broker CLSA started coverage on the stock with a "buy" rating and a target price of 302 rupees.
Among stocks that declined, United Spirits Ltd (UNSP.NS) fell 0.6 percent on profit-taking, having risen 12.3 percent in the previous two sessions after Diageo (DGE.L), the world's biggest spirits maker, on Tuesday launched a $1.9 billion bid to nearly double its stake in the company.
Editing by Anupama Dwivedi