Sensex soars to 1 month high, best weekly show since September

Mumbai: The market uptrend went into the second day today, with the Sensex spurting 53 points to bring up a fresh 1-month closing high of 26,747, in keeping with firming global indices amid investor optimism. On a weekly basis, both key indices — the Sensex and the Nifty — recorded their best gains since September 2 by rising 516.52 points, or 1.96 per cent, and 174.95 points, or 2.16 per cent, respectively. Risk appetite improved on the back of a rally in global markets after US stocks hit new record yesterday after the European Central Bank extended its massive stimulus programme beyond March though it scaled down the size of the purchase.

The BSE Sensex after shuttling between 26,803.76 and 26,707.81 closed at 26,747.18, up 52.90 points, or 0.20 per cent on continuous foreign capital inflows. This is the highest closing since November 11 when the closing figure stood at 26,818.82. The index had rallied 457 points in the previous session. The broader NSE Nifty scaled a high of 8,274.95, but profit-taking pulled it down to close at 8,261.75, still up 14.90 points, or 0.18 per cent.

“Stocks added to the previous day’s gains, especially by small- and mid-caps, but with US Fed likely to raise rates next week, Indian markets followed global cues in taking a cautionary stance towards the close,” said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services. Covering up short positions by speculators fearing buying activity to pick up in the coming session supported the upside, observers said. But the rupee could not maintain its 3-day rally as it ended 6 paise down at 67.42.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 698.86 crore yesterday, according to provisional data. Most Asian markets remained firm, with Japan’s Nikkei rising 1.23 per cent and Shanghai Composite Index up 0.54 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.44 per cent though. European indices advanced in early trade amid the supportive policy from ECB. Frankfurt’s DAX 30 added 1.75 per cent and Paris CAC gained 0.87 per cent while London’s FTSE was up 0.42 per cent.

Among 30 Sensex constituents, SBI gained the most as it rose by 2.41 per cent, followed by ICICI (2.35 per cent), ONGC (1.61 per cent), Axis Bank (1.51 per cent) and ITC (1.20 per cent). Bajaj Auto fell the most, down 2.05 per cent, and Coal India lost 1.60 per cent. Coming to sectors, realty was in a sweet spot, up 1.62 per cent, followed by banking index 1.14 per cent and FMCG 0.52 per cent. Broader markets were in a finer shape, with the small-cap and mid-cap firming up 0.52 per cent and 0.21 per cent, respectively, after investors built more bets.