Mumbai : The auspicious Muhurat trade on the first day of Hindu Samavat 2072 ended on a positive note today as equities staged a smart rebound after a five-session slump with the benchmark Sensex surging by 124 points to close at 25,866.95.

Sentiment turned highly buoyant after government eased foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in key sectors to
improve business environment and attract robust foreign investment to accelerate economic growth.

Positive Asian and European trading sentiment also supported the rise.

The Centre yesterday relaxed FDI norms in 15 sectors such as civil aviation, banking, defence, retail and news broadcasting and eased the process for approval of FDI, signalling that the ruling coalition will not allow the electoral debacle in Bihar to come in the way of economic reforms.

The index opened higher at 25,934.90 and hovered in a range of 25,944.93 and 25,853.42 before closing at 25,866.95,
showing a gain of 123.69 points or 0.48 per cent.

The 50-share Nifty also rose by 41.65 points or 0.54 per cent to finish at 7,825.00.

The Samvat year just gone by proved to be the worst in terms of returns in the last four years and disappointed investors.

Weak corporate earnings, lack of big-ticket reforms, global volatility and sluggish growth outlook against the backdrop of poor monsoons weighed on markets in Samvat 2071. Samvat 2071 had started with a lot of promise on the back of the stunning victory of BJP-led NDA government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the expectant business-friendly policy measures, propelling the Sensex to touch a lifetime high of 30,024.74 and broader Nifty to hit a record high of 9,119.20.

Markets were jolted in the last five trading days due to tepid earnings and also the unexpectedly heavy defeat of the
ruling NDA in the Bihar elections, which raised concerns over the pace of economic reforms.PTI