Stocks

Sensex, Nifty hit fresh closing highs

BL Internet Desk Chennai | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on January 18, 2018

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Selling in metal, realty shares checks gains

Markets continued their record- setting spree for the second straight day with BSE benchmark Sensex rising over 178 points to hit new closing high of 35,260.29 and Nifty ending above 10,800 for the first time, driven by a rally in banking counters. However, heavy selling in Reliance, Tata Steel, Adani Ports and SBI in the afternoon session checked the gains.

The BSE Sensex after a gap-up opening at 35,366.45, advanced further to life-time high of 35,507.36, surpassing its previous intra-day high of 35,118.61 before ending at all-time closing high of 35,260.29, showing a gain of 178.47 points or 0.51 per cent. It also broke previous record closing high of 35,081.82 reached yesterday.

The NSE Nifty also gained 28.45 points, or 0.26 per cent, to hit all-time closing high of 10,817 after hitting historic high of 10,887.50, smashing its previous record (intra-day) of 10,803. It also breached previous record closing of 10,788.55 hit yesterday.

Bank stocks rally

Banking stocks contributed the most to gains amid expectations that the government would increase the foreign investment limits for banks. The government is considering raising the foreign investment ceiling in private banks to 100 percent and in public lenders to 49 percent, according to media reports. The rally in banks was also supported by the government's decision on Wednesday to trim additional market borrowing by 60 percent for the ongoing fiscal year ending March. A rally in global markets and the expectation of relaxation of foreign investment norms in banks are working together to lift the indexes, said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities.

Foreign investors put in Rs 625.13 crore in stocks on net basis yesterday, while domestic institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 168.61 crore, provisional data showed.

Among the BSE sectoral indices, the big losers were: metal (-2.87%), Realty (-4.07%), Power (-1.80%), Oil & Gas (-1.38%), consumer durables (-1.02%), healthcare (-1.13%), and energy (-1.05%). Those that ended in the positive zone were: bank (+0.69%), Finance (+0.56%), FMCG (+0.74%), and IT (+0.13%).

Top five Sensex gainers were ITC (+2.61%), HDFC Bank (+2.15%), HDFC (+1.99%), M&M (+1.96%) and Kotak Bank (+1.77%), while the major losers were Adani Ports (-4.32%), Tata Steel (-2.8%), Coal India (-2.8%), Sun Pharma (-1.22%) and SBI (-1.18%).

Sustained FII inflows and fresh spell of buying by domestic institutional investors kept the momentum going for Indian shares. Besides, optimism over encouraging Q3 earnings by some more companies and upcoming Budget too bolstered trading sentiments, accelerating buying by investors. Expectations were high that the GST Council might consider a host of proposals to simplify procedure for filing of returns, registration of large entities, lower tax on some items and the GSTN’s readiness for e-way bill rollout from February 1. Domestic markets are also aided by a rally in the global markets with US market surging to record high and a firming trend at other Asian bourses.

Brokers said continued buying by foreign funds as well as retail investors after the government’s decision to slash its additional borrowing requirement for the current fiscal to Rs 20,000 crore from Rs 50,000 crore, estimated earlier and encouraging Q3 earnings by some bluechip companies lifted the key indices to new highs. Besides, a firm trend in the global markets also boosted sentiments, they said.

Global markets

Asian stocks struck record highs on Thursday, with a rally by Wall Street supporting bullish investor sentiment, while the dollar pulled back from three-year lows as comments by European Central Bank officials tempered the euro's recent rally. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.2 percent higher after rising as much as 0.4 per cent to a fresh record peak. Australian stocks were flat, South Korea's KOSPI added 0.2 per cent and Japan's Nikkei was last up 0.4 per cent after reaching its highest level since late 1991. Shanghai rose 0.4 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.4 per cent. US stocks jumped on Wednesday and the Dow closed above 26,000 for the first time as investors' expectations for higher earnings lifted stocks across sectors.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published on January 18, 2018
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