Sensex, Nifty end higher for 6th straight session

Last Updated 18 March 2019, 11:19 IST

Extending its winning streak to the sixth consecutive session, the BSE Sensex gained over 70 points Monday as stocks made further headway powered by unabated foreign fund inflows and narrowing country's trade deficit amid positive global cues.

The 30-share benchmark advanced to hit a high of 38,369.59 as buying activity gathered momentum. However, investors locked in gains pushing the key index into the negative zone to hit a low of 37,952.10 before bouncing back to end 70.75 points, or 0.19 per cent, higher at 38,095.07.

Likewise, the 50-stock NSE Nifty finished 35.35 points, or 0.31 per cent, higher at 11,462.20 after hitting the day's high of 11,530.15 and a low of 11,412.50.

Among Sensex components, Bajaj Finance topped the gainers list by surging 2.84 per cent.

Other winners were PowerGrid, RIL, Axis Bank, Tata Steel, Kotak Bank, IndusInd Bank, Tata Motors, NTPC, HDFC Bank, Asian Paints, ICICI Bank, ITC, Sun Pharma and Yes Bank, rising up to 2.29 per cent.

On the other hand, Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, Bharti Airtel, HCL Tech, M&M, L&T, Infosys, Vedanta Ltd, Bajaj Auto, TCS, HDFC, ONGC, Coal India and HUL, retreated up to 2.56 per cent.

A 15 per cent or 1,500-point rally has ensued in the Nifty 50 since October 2018. The market’s internals are the healthiest they have been since 2017, said Sunil Sharma, Chief Investment Officer, Sanctum Wealth Management.

"First and obviously, dramatic inflows have come in from FIIs. Capitulation by retail has happened, and short covering by the bears seems to be underway. Next, capital sitting on the sidelines that is waiting out the elections, is going to start feeling the pull of runaway equity prices against idle cash," he said.

On a net basis, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net of Rs 4,323.49 crore on Friday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net sellers to the tune of Rs 2,130.36 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed.

"What we are witnessing and what markets seem to be telegraphing is a tilt back towards synchronised stimulative policy at some point in the medium term future by the Fed, ECB, Japan and Chinese central banks," he said, adding that these environments are pro-emerging market assets and pro emerging currencies."

During the day, BSE realty gained the most rising 2.46 per cent, oil and gas 1.55 per cent, PSU 0.94 per cent, bankex 0.88 per cent, metal 0.79 per cent and FMCG index up 0.42 per cent.

However, auto index, capital goods, IT, teck and healthcare indices ended lower by up to 1.36 per cent.

Investor sentiment also remained upbeat on narrowing trade deficit, according to market experts.

The marginal 2.44 per cent increase in exports, as well as lower imports of gold and petroleum products in February significantly, narrowed the country's trade deficit to USD 9.6 billion, data released by the commerce ministry Friday showed.

Strengthening gains, the rupee appreciated 54 paise to 68.56 against the US dollar intra-day. Global crude benchmark Brent crude futures fell 0.15 per cent to USD 67.06 per barrel.

Investor sentiment was also buoyed tracking a firming trend in most Asian bourses and a higher opening in European shares on speculation that the US Federal policymakers will lower interest rate forecast after weaker-than-forecast economic data on Friday.

Most of other Asian markets ended higher and European shares were up in their early deals, tracking weekend gains at the Wall Street.

Shanghai Composite Index rallied 2.47 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.37 per cent, Japan's Nikkei surged 0.62 per cent and Straits Times was up 0.40 per cent.

European shares were in better shape as Paris CAC 40 rose 0.04 per cent, London's FTSE gained 0.63 per cent. Frankfurt's DAX, however, was down 0.11 per cent in its early deals.

(Published 18 March 2019, 11:08 IST)

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