Stocks

Sensex spurts 283 points as Fed holds off rate hike; oil & gas stocks steal the show

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 24, 2018

The benchmark BSE Sensex surged over 280 points at the closing session as the US Federal Reserve in its open market committee meeting on Wednesday had left the key rate unchanged at 0-0.25 per cent.

The Fed officials have also indicated that the US economy is growing moderately after a winter swoon and likely strong enough to support an interest rate increase by the end of the year.

The 30-share BSE index Sensex surged 283.17 points or 1.06 per cent to 27,115.83 and the 50-share NSE index Nifty jumped 83.05 points or 1.03 per cent to 8,174.60.

Both the Sensex and the Nifty marked their highest close in nearly 2-1/2 weeks, led by a surge in index heavyweight Reliance Industries for a fifth day, on optimism the company would begin 4G phone services in December.

Value-buying also continued as the broader NSE index remained more than 10 per cent below its record high hit in March.

Sectoral indices

Among BSE sectoral indices, oil & gas index gained the most by 2.63 per cent, followed by consumer durables 2.12 per cent, healthcare 1.34 per cent and auto 1.17 per cent. On the other hand, realty index was down 0.21 per cent, followed by metal 0.19 per cent and infrastructure 0.01 per cent.

Gainers, losers

Top five Sensex gainers were Reliance (+5.15%), Tata Motors (+2.71%), ONGC (+2.16%), Wipro (+1.94%) and Maruti (+1.82%), while the major losers were Coal India (-0.92%), Cipla (-0.82%), NTPC (-0.55%), Tata Steel (-0.49%) and GAIL (-0.22%).

Shares are also set to snap a losing streak of three weekly declines, if Friday does not witness any steep falls.

FII outflows

However, foreign outflows continue with overseas investors selling shares worth $1.3 billion in May and June on fears a weak monsoon may stoke inflation and delay further rate cuts and key reforms such as the Land Acquisition Bill.

A report by SMC Investments and Advisors said: "Overnight, the US Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at near zero. The Federal Open Market Committee trimmed its economic growth forecast for 2015 to just 1.8-2.0 per cent, showed lower expectation of GDP growth.Despite a modest improvement in the economic outlook, the Federal Reserve on Wednesday offered no explicit guidance indicating that it will soon raise interest rates from zero. As expected, the Fed kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged near zero, where it has been since 2008."

Global markets

European shares fell in early deals on Thursday as hopes of a deal between Greece and its creditors at a summit later in the day receded, further straining investor nerves after weeks of fruitless negotiations.

Hopes of a breakthrough on Thursday at a meeting of European finance ministers, once seen as the last opportunity for an agreement, looked increasingly remote.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.5 per cent at 1,514.21 points, falling for the fourth of the past five sessions. The index was down nearly 7 per cent since late May.

Asian equities rose early on Thursday after the Federal Reserve sounded more dovish than many had expected and led investors to push back their expected timing of a rate hike, while the dollar was put on the defensive on the same token.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 0.3 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.7 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei dipped 0.1 per cent on the yen’s gains against the dollar.

Wall Street shares had inched higher in a choppy session overnight following the Fed’s statements, with the Dow rising 0.17 per cent and S&P gaining 0.2 per cent.

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Published on June 18, 2015
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