Business Financials

Equity markets surge to new highs, banking stocks soar

Equity markets surge to new highs, banking stocks soar

Mumbai: The Indian equity markets were elevated to new high levels on Thursday by positive global cues, expected reforms to deal with banking sector’s woes, and short-covering triggered on account of May futures and options (F&O) contracts expiry.

Healthy rise in stock prices of firms like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Infosys led the two key indices NSE Nifty and S&P BSE Sensex to close at record peaks after making fresh 52-week intra-day highs.

The wider 51-scrip NSE Nifty reclaimed its psychologically important 9,500-mark, and closed at 9,509.75 points — up 149.20 points or 1.59 per cent — a new closing high.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE surged by 448.39 points or 1.48 per cent to close at a new high of 30,750.03 points.

The Nifty touched a new intra-day high of 9,523.30 points and the Sensex that of 30,793.43 points.

“Markets rallied sharply higher on Thursday on the back of the derivative expiry. Positive global stocks boosted sentiment on the domestic bourses,” Deepak Jasani, Head (Retail Research), HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“Broad market indices like the BSE mid-cap and small-cap, too, rose with healthy gains. Major Asian markets ended on a positive note, while European indices like FTSE 100, CAC 40 and DAX traded higher.”

The S&P BSE mid-cap index rose by 1.35 per cent and the small-cap index by 2.01 per cent.

Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services, said: “An indication of a gradual rate hike in the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) minutes gave impetus to the global indices, which instilled energy in the domestic markets. Decline in VIX (Volatility Index) also bolstered sentiments.”

“Banks’ swing higher was solid, as traders cut short positions with expectations rising on NPA (non-performing assets) resolution measures shortly. Consumer goods and agro based sectors have also started to show strength which is expected to continue, taking cues from IMD’s report on early monsoon.”

On the currency front, the rupee strengthened by 12 paise to 64.61-62 per US dollar from its previous close of 64.73-74.

In investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought stocks worth Rs 589.11 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) divested scrips worth Rs 236.44 crore.

“Nifty surged against all odds as it regained 9,500 level backed by strong recovery in private banking stocks. The rebound from the expected value level of 9,340 kept the bullish trend intact,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.

“IT and banking sector stocks complemented the firmness of the equity markets. Lupin extended losses and fell seven per cent after its consolidated net profit in the March quarter fell 49 per cent from a year ago.”

Sector wise, the S&P BSE banking index augmented by 720.60 points, the capital goods index by 599.68 points and the automobile index by 420.16 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE healthcare index plunged by 246.03 points and the consumer durables index was down by 16.81 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: Larsen and Toubro (L&T), up 4.97 per cent at Rs 1,137.95; ICICI Bank, up 3.52 per cent at Rs 317.60; HDFC Bank, up 3.04 per cent at Rs 1,617.15; Infosys, up 2.97 per cent at Rs 981.90; and Gail, up 2.87 per cent at Rs 401.40.

Major Sensex losers were: Lupin, down 7.31 per cent at Rs 1,137.95; Dr. Reddy’s Lab, down 3.70 per cent at Rs 2,427.30; Cipla, down 3.12 per cent at Rs 504.10; Sun Pharma, down 1.87 per cent at Rs 591.80; and Power Grid, down 0.58 per cent at Rs 198.70.