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Mkts set new peaks

Heavy buying in banking, IT stocks propelled key indices to fresh highs; HDFC, TCS hog limelight

Mkts set new peaks

Mumbai: Equity benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty rebounded sharply to hit record fresh highs on Thursday, propped up by buying in IT, consumer durables and financial stocks amid expectations of a robust corporate performance. Besides, investors lapped up select banking stocks expecting a status quo in the interest rate decision of the RBI’s monetary policy committee, analysts said. The six-member rate-setting panel, which began its deliberation on Wednesday, will announce the decision on Friday.

The 30-share BSE Sensex surged 350.81 points or 0.47 per cent to settle at its lifetime high of 74,227.63. During the day, the index oscillated between the high of 74,501.73 and the low of 73,485.12. The broader NSE Nifty also hit its fresh peak of 22,514.65, gaining 80 points or 0.36 per cent. As many as 31 components of the 50-share benchmark ended with gains. Both indices had ended lower in the previous two sessions. On March 7, Sensex recorded its previous peak of 74,119.39. Nifty scaled its previous high of 22,493.55.

“Market breadth displayed a positive trend within a narrow trading range, with attention focused on the RBI’s upcoming monetary policy announcement tomorrow. Expectations lean towards the likely status quo in the repo rate due to prevalent inflation worries. Meanwhile, the broader market has shown resilience in select sectors like banks in anticipation of decent Q4 results and exports based on composite PMI data reflecting strong business conditions,” said Vinod Nair, head (research), Geojit Financial Services.

Among sectoral indices, IT rose 0.93 per cent, followed by consumer durables which went up by 0.85 per cent. While utilities gained by 0.78 per cent, financial services climbed by 0.69 per cent. Bankex, teck and auto advanced by 0.57 per cent, 0.47 per cent and 0.25 per cent, respectively. On the other hand, oil & gas lost 1.64 per cent, energy fell 1.01 per cent and services declined by 0.59 per cent. BSE largecap gained 0.34 per cent and smallcap rose 0.54 per cent, while the midcap index lost marginally by 0.11 per cent.

Among the Sensex constituents, 20 stocks ended the session in green with HDFC Bank, Titan, Tech Mahindra, and Asian Paints being the major gainers. TCS, Maruti, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Bajaj Finserve were the other gainers. In contrast, SBI, Bharti Airtel, JSW Steel, PowerGrid, ITC and Reliance closed the trading with losses.

Elsewhere in Asia, Seoul and Tokyo ended with gains, while Hong Kong and Shanghai were closed for a holiday.

European markets were trading in green. The US markets closed Wednesday’s session on a mixed note. Meanwhile, global oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.36 per cent to $88.67 a barrel. Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) offloaded equities worth Rs 2,213.56 crore on Wednesday, according to exchange data.

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