Thursday, February 29, 2024

Equity benchmarks’ record run continues; Nifty nears 21,000 points

Equity market benchmarks Sensex and Nifty extended their rally for the seventh consecutive session and hit new peaks on Wednesday amid sustained buying from foreign institutional investors and easing crude oil prices.

The 30-share BSE Sensex jumped 303.25 points, or 0.44 per cent, to a new record high of 69,599.39 in the morning trade. The broader index Nifty also climbed 100.05 points, or 0.48 per cent to hit its fresh lifetime high of 20,955.15.

Analysts attributed the unabated inflow of foreign funds to declining US bond yields. They said domestic investors remained bullish on robust macroeconomic data and expectations of longer political stability in the country.

Also, investors are expecting the Reserve Bank to maintain the status quo on the interest rate in its bi-monthly monetary policy decision to be announced on Friday, they added.

Among major Sensex movers, ITC rose the most by 1.70 per cent, Wipro by 1.43 per cent, Tech Mahindra by 1.36 per cent and Nestle India by 1.27 per cent. Other gainers included HCL Tech, Asian Paints and Reliance.

On the other hand, ICICI Bank, NTPC, UltraTech Cement and Tata Steel traded with a loss of up to 0.82 per cent.

Foreign institutional investors purchased shares worth Rs 5,223.51 crore on Tuesday, according to exchange data.

“During the medium-term, in the run up to the general elections, the market is likely to move up aided by three factors — expectations of political stability after the elections; favourable domestic macros like strong GDP growth, declining inflation, stable interest rates and soft crude; and favourable global cues from declining US bond yields.

“Bank Nifty will continue to be resilient,” said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

In Asian markets, Hang Seng and Nikkei 225 traded higher by 0.54 per cent and 1.72 per cent, respectively, while China’s Shanghai Composite was not trading.

European markets were mixed. Germany’s DAX gained 1.96 per cent and France’s CAC 40 by 1.04 per cent. London’s FTSE 100 remained unchanged. The US markets ended on a mixed note with S&P 500 registering a marginal loss of 0.06 per cent on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, global oil benchmark Brent crude inched up 0.13 per cent to USD 77.30 a barrel.

On Tuesday, the 30-share BSE Sensex jumped 431.02 points, or 0.63 per cent, to close at a new record high of 69,296.14. Nifty also climbed 168.50 points, or 0.81 per cent to hit its lifetime high of 20,855.30 .

The market capitalisation of BSE-listed firms surged by more than Rs 2.5 lakh crore to touch Rs 346.47 lakh crore on Tuesday.

On the domestic macroeconomic front, the services sector growth in India fell to a one-year low in November, on softer expansions in new work intakes and output, despite receding price pressures, a monthly survey said on Tuesday.

The seasonally adjusted S&P Global India Services Business Activity Index fell from 58.4 in October to a one-year low of 56.9 in November.

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