Equities extend gains on healthy macro-data, global cues

Mumbai: Key Indian equity indices — the BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 — extended their gains for the third consecutive week as healthy macro-economic data, along with firm global cues on the back of fading trade war fears boosted investors’ sentiments.

On a weekly basis, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE surged by 565.68 points or 1.68 per cent to close at 34,192.65 points.

The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed trade at 10,480.60 points — up 149 points or 1.44 per cent from its previous week’s close.

“Markets rallied further this week after consolidating in the early part of the week. It was the third consecutive week of gains for the Nifty,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“The top sectoral gainers were IT, metal, Bank Nifty and energy indices. The top losers were PSU Banks, realty and pharma indices,” he added.

Prateek Jain, Director, Hem Securities, said: “Markets settled on a firm note last week as investors appeared confident in view of firm global cues. Stock markets across the globe rose after a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping calmed investor jitters over an escalating US-China trade row.”

“Escalating tensions over Syria were seen as a major contributor to weakness during the middle of the week. The Sensex and the Nifty advanced in all five trading sessions of the week,” Jain told IANS.

On the domestic front, healthy Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data added to the northward trajectory of the benchmark indices.

“The domestic market continued to trade higher and the Nifty managed to cross 10,500 levels in the week gone by amid global clues and healthy macro data,” D.K. Aggarwal, Chairman and Managing Director of SMC Investments and Advisors, told IANS.

Official data released post market hours on Thursday showed that India’s March retail inflation eased to 4.28 per cent, while factory production growth slowed only marginally in February to 7.1 per cent.

“The fears of a trade war seem to have completely abated as of now,” Aggarwal said.

According to Aggarwal, the sentiments were further supported after securities market regulator Sebi decided to raise the investment limit for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in central government securities and corporate bonds in two tranches.

“Limit for FPIs in central government securities shall be enhanced to Rs 207,300 crore on April 12 and to Rs 223,300 crore on October 1, respectively and this is sure to boost inflows of foreign funds into Indian capital markets,” he added.

On the investment front, provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 1,654.31 crore, while the domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 815.06 crore during the week.

Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) revealed that FPIs divested equities worth Rs 1,178.98 crore, or $182.25 million, during April 9-13.

The top weekly Sensex gainers were: Axis Bank (up 8.23 per cent at Rs 541.90); Tata Consultancy Services (up 6.82 per cent at Rs 3,151); Coal India (up 3.59 per cent at Rs 285.35); Infosys (up 3.52 per cent at Rs 1,169); and Larsen and Toubro (up 3.37 per cent at Rs 1,355.30).

The losers were: State Bank of India (down 3.31 per cent at Rs 251.20); Tata Motors (down 1.98 per cent at Rs 356.65); Bharti Airtel (down 1.97 per cent at Rs 377.80); Dr. Reddy’s Lab (down 1.75 per cent at Rs 2,087); and Tata Motors (DVR) (down 1.74 per cent at Rs 202.80).