Sensex, Nifty hit fresh highs, bank stocks drive rally

Sensex, Nifty hit fresh highs, bank stocks drive rally

Mumbai: 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.

Upbeat sentiment got boost on reports that the government is considering raising the foreign investment ceiling in private banks to 100 per cent and in public sector lenders to 49 per cent, traders said.

However, selling towards the fag-end, as investors took the money off the table at record levels, cut down session’s gains. 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 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.

Banking stocks have been at the centre of brisk activity after the government on Wednesday lowered the additional borrowing requirement for the current fiscal to Rs 20,000 crore from Rs 50,000 crore estimated earlier.

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 on Wednesday.

The BSE Sensex had gained by 310.77 points in the previous session. 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 on Wednesday.

Foreign investors have been supporting the ongoing rally by pumping sizeable funds into domestic markets.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) 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.

PTI