The Sensex and Nifty hit record closing highs for a fourth straight session on Monday on sustained foreign fund inflows and persistent buying by domestic investors.

Domestic equities have been on a record-setting run, bolstered by a string of positive corporate results and recent government measures, including a cut in the goods and services tax for certain sectors. “Overall, the mood seems to be quite positive with some buying emerging at lower levels,” said Krish Subramanyam, co-head - equity advisor at Altamount Capital.

The 30-share BSE index Sensex ended higher by 286.43 points or 0.81 per cent at 35,798.01 and the 50-share NSE index Nifty closed up by 71.5 points or 0.66 per cent at 10,966.20. The Sensex hit an all-time high of 35,827.70 intra-day, while the Nifty50 clocked record intra-day high of 10,975.10.

Among BSE sectoral indices, IT index gained the most by 2.01 per cent, followed by realty 1.95 per cent, capital goods 1.79 per cent and TECk 1.38 per cent. On the other hand, metal index fell 0.82 per cent and PSU 0.21 per cent.

Top five Sensex gainers were TCS (+5.36%), Reliance (+4.5%), Axis Bank (+3.52%), ONGC (+3.28%) and YES Bank (+2.00%), while the major losers were Wipro (-2.33%), Bharti Airtel (-1.56%), Asian Paints (-1.4%), HDFC (-1.38%) and State Bank of India (-0.91%).

IT stocks continued their upward momentum with Tata Consultancy Services hitting a new high of Rs 3,130 intra-day. The company's market capitalisation touched a record high of Rs 5.76 lakh crore. The S&P BSE IT index hit a new high of 12,486.90, up 1.94 per cent in intra-day trade.

Besides TCS, other IT stocks such as MindTree (+8.3%), NIIT Technologies (+5.7%), Tata Elxsi (+4.4%) Tech Mahindra (+3.6%), NIIT Ltd (+4.8%) also rallied.

IT stocks were on an uptrend after Morgan Stanley said it expects a turnaround for IT services stocks in 2018 following tepid revenue growth last year.

ONGC shares jumped as much as 6.3 per cent to their highest in nearly a year after the explorer said it would buy a majority stake in state-run refiner HPCL for $5.8 billion, with analysts saying the premium paid was smaller than expected.

Meanwhile, Reliance Industries gained as much as 3.1 per cent after the company posted a record net profit in the third quarter after its telecoms business, Jio, turned in a profit for the first time.

Shares of Wipro slipped as much as 3.2 per cent as the country’s third largest IT services provider posted an 8.4 per cent decline in net profit for the third quarter year-on-year due to higher costs.

FII buying

As per provisional exchange data, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 988.25 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) made purchases worth Rs 209.86 crore in the previous session.

Early trade

The 30-share BSE index Sensex rose 152.43 points or 0.42 per cent to hit a new high of 35,664.01, surpassing its previous intra-day record of 35,542.17 hit on Friday. Similarly, the 50-share NSE index Nifty gained 31.75 points or 0.29 per cent to 10,926.45 -- a fresh intra-day high. The gauge had hit 10,906.85 during the day on Friday.

Market outlook

Earnings of bluechips like Axis Bank and Maruti Suzuki as well as derivatives expiry will dictate the market trend in a holiday-shortened week ahead. Stock markets will remain closed on Friday for Republic Day.

The Nifty 50 and the Sensex can extend their rally in the truncated week, taking cues from the quarterly results announcement of bluechip stocks. The January derivatives expiry, ahead of a long weekend, can trigger some profit-booking in the latter part of the week. The market is likely to now turn its focus on the upcoming Budget.

Asian shares

US stock futures, Asian equities and the dollar pulled back slightly on Monday after the US government was forced to shut down amid a dispute between President Donald Trump and Democrats over immigration.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia–Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.1 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei was down 0.15 per cent. US S&P500 mini futures dipped 0.1 per cent in early trade, while US Treasuries price fell, pushing up the benchmark 10-year yield to as high as 2.672 per cent, its highest level in 3-1/2 years.

Republican and Democratic leaders of the US Senate held talks on Sunday seeking to break the impasse that has kept the US government shutdown for two days.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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