Upbeat quarterly corporate earnings along with the influx of foreign funds and major decisions undertaken by the government during the week catapulted the key Indian equity indices — the Sensex and the Nifty50 — to record high levels.
The benchmark indices extended their bull run for the seventh consecutive week with banking and IT stocks giving a major thrust to the upward trajectory, market observers said.
The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) crossed the 10,900-points-level for the first time this week.
However, the Nifty50 failed to sustain that level at the closing on Friday. The index closed trade at a fresh high of 10,894.70 points — up 213.45 points, or 2 per cent, from its previous week’s close.
The indices also touched their new 52-week highs. On Friday, the Sensex scaled a fresh intra-day high of 35,542.17 points and the Nifty50 of 10,906.85 points.
“The recent rally was undoubtedly dominated by the technology and banking space. The banking stocks got lured on Thursday after the news that the government is mulling allowing 100 per cent FDI [foreign direct investment] in the sector,” D.K. Aggarwal, chairman and managing director of SMC Investments and Advisors, told IANS.
On the global front, stock markets across the globe rallied on the back of optimism in the US economy and expectations for a strong earnings season, Aggarwal said.
“Investors’ interest resumed in the market again after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council announced cut in the tax rate on 29 goods and 54 categories of services,” Arpit Jain, AVP at Arihant Capital Markets, told IANS.
“Encouraging Q3 FY18 results by blue-chip firms like HDFC Bank and ITC added to the cheer,” he said.
In a major decision on Thursday, the GST Council slashed the rates on 54 services and 29 items, including old and used motor vehicles, public transport buses run on bio-fuel, sugar-boiled confectionery and packaged water, which cheered investors.
On the investment side, provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors purchased scrips worth Rs42.34 billion, while domestic institutional investors divested stocks worth Rs6.98 billion during the week.
Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) revealed that foreign portfolio investors bought equities worth Rs35.96 billion, or $5.63 billion, betweeen January 15 and 19.
“The announcement of the Ministry of Finance that the government will reduce the additional borrowing of dated securities for FY18 to Rs200 billion from Rs500 billion that was earlier announced helped alleviate some of the uncertainty,” Shibani Kurian, senior vice-president and Head of equity research, Kotak Mutual Fund, told IANS.
“The government has reassessed its additional borrowing requirements, taking note of revenue receipts and expenditure patterns,” added Kurian.
On the currency front, the rupee weakened by 22 paise to close at 63.85 against the US dollar from its last week’s close at 63.63.
“Sectorally, the top gainers were the Bank Nifty, IT, PSU banks and FMCG indices. The top losers were the realty, metal and energy indices,” Deepak Jasani, Head — retail research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.