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Sensex, Nifty at fresh peaks amid falling Covid cases

RIL leads charge; Sharp recovery in rupee adds to momentum; Lacklustre global cues cap gains

Positive data, hopes of healthy Q3 results lift markets

Positive data, hopes of healthy Q3 results lift markets 

Mumbai: Equity markets mustered solid gains to close at all-time highs on Monday as risk sentiment improved after multiple states began easing Covid-19 restrictions amid falling cases.

A sharp recovery in the rupee added to the momentum, even as lacklustre global cues capped the gains, traders said. After starting on a tepid note, the 30-share BSE Sensex saw good buying in energy, IT and bank stocks in afternoon trade. It finally finished 228.46 points or 0.44 per cent higher at its new closing record of 52,328.51.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty surged 81.40 points or 0.52 per cent to its all-time peak of 15,751.65. PowerGrid topped the Sensex gainers' chart with a jump of 4.44 per cent, followed by NTPC, UltraTech Cement, Reliance Industries (RIL), IndusInd Bank, HCL Tech, Tech Mahindra and L&T. Index heavyweight RIL contributed around half of the benchmark's gains. On the other hand, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, HDFC, Dr Reddy's, SBI and ONGC were among the laggards, tumbling up to 4.43 per cent. "Domestic equities extended gains with benchmarks recording fresh all-time highs as sharp decline in daily caseload and states started easing business curb lifted sentiments," said Binod Modi, Head - Strategy at Reliance Securities. A sharp rebound was seen in private banks, auto and IT which supported market, while metals and pharma witnessed profit booking. He further noted that midcap and smallcap stocks were again in focus as investors appeared to be lapping up these counters in the backdrop of improved visibility of earnings recovery. Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said, "Domestic equities extended its gains in today's volatile session ahead of PM Modi's address to the nation. Hopes of easing restrictions and Centre's Covid-19 vaccination policy pumped optimism into the market."

Sector-wise, BSE utilities, power, telecom, energy, oil and gas, industrials and IT indices surged as much as 3.33 per cent, while realty, finance and metal ended in the red. Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices rallied up to 1.38 per cent.

World stocks were in wait-and-watch mode after the G7 economies agreed on a minimum global corporate tax rate of 15 per cent, even as experts said a lot of ground needs to be covered before G20 nations reach a similar agreement. Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul ended with gains, while Hong Kong was in the red. Stock exchanges in Europe were largely trading with losses in mid-session deals. International oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.58 per cent lower at $71.47 per barrel.

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