Sensex, Nifty at fresh closing highs ahead of RBI policy

Sensex, Nifty at fresh closing highs ahead of RBI policy
The benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty today managed to end the range-bound session at new closing peaks of 31,309 and 9,675, respectively, helped by the country's GST preparedness and investors' focus on banking counters ahead of the RBI policy.

The domestic equities continued their stellar record- breaking stint for the second session today, with stock benchmarks capturing new intra-day highs on the back of strong liquidity driven rally amid mixed global cues.

Banking stocks were instrumental in driving the today's Sensex gains, with Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank closing in the green.

The market sentiment also got a boost after the GST Council last week finalised rates for some pending commodities, which take the process a step closer to the roll out of the new indirect tax regime from July 1.

Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services Ltd, said, "Banks hauled indices higher, helped by increased optimism over NPA resolution, while GST rates announced over the weekend were also instrumental in fuelling a few stock rallies in the midcap space. However, global cues were mixed..."

Besides financials, mild buying in select counters such as consumer durables, realty, capital goods, telecoms, industrials and energy predominantly propelled the flagship Sensex to conquer a fresh life-time high of 31,355.42 before ending at a historic peak of 31,309.49.

But, counters like metal, utilities and power witnessed some profit-booking. The broader Nifty also climbed a new high of 9,687.20 before ending at a record close of 9,675.10.

Domestic bourses largely outperformed their Asian peers which were broadly lower, if not by much, with investors casting sidelong glances at the US economy following last Friday's disappointing employment data.

The sentiment also got a lift from strong corporate earnings and also buoyed by the most likely GST roll-out next month.

The historic goods and services tax (GST) regime came a step further close after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Saturday fixed the rates for almost all the remaining items, such as precious metals (gold and silver), diamonds, biscuits, textiles and footwear.

However, initial strong gains were relinquished by modest profit-taking as well as some caution ahead of the central bank policy meeting, beginning tomorrow.

The BSE 30-share Sensex resumed flat at 31,274.74 and oscillated between an all-time peak of 31,355.42 and a low of 31,198.22 before ending at 31,309.49, a rise of 36.20 points, or 0.12 per cent.

Similarly, the broader NSE 50-share Nifty also swung between a new high of 9,687.20 and a low of 9,640.70 before settling at 9,675.10, showing a gain of 21.60 points, or 0.22 per cent.

Overseas, European stocks edged lower as investors eye an upcoming monetary policy meeting from the European Central Bank (ECB) and react to the terrorist attack in London over the weekend, just a few days ahead of a general election. The German stock market and some other European bourses were closed due to a religious public holiday.

Asian stocks closed mixed. Key indices in Asia like China, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan firmed up by 0.11 per cent to 0.68 per cent, while indices in Hongkong and South korea declined by 0.13 per cent to 0.24 per cent.

Of the 30-share Sensex pack, 15 showed up in the green. Major gainers were: Bajaj Auto 1.92 per cent, TCS 1.53 per cent, L&T 1.15 per cent, Axis Bank 1.02 per cent, Adani Ports 1.02 per cent, Cipla 0.99 per cent, HUL 0.98 per cent, ONGC 0.92 per cent and Wipro 0.66 per cent.

However, Coal India fell by 1.67 per cent, followed by Gail 1.02 per cent, Infy 0.95 per cent, Lupin 0.79 per cent, Dr Reddy 0.72 per cent, Hero Motoco 0.67 per cent and HDFC 0.63 per cent.

The BSE consumer durables index gained the most by climbing 5.81 per cent, followed by realty 1.02 per cent, capital goods 0.80 per cent, telecom 0.60 per cent, industrials 0.49 per cent and oil&gas 0.36 per cent.

While, metal fell by 0.56 per cent, followed by utilities 0.26 per cent, power 0.06 per cent and healthcare 0.05 per cent.

In broader markets, The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index provisionally rose 0.15 per cent. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index provisionally advanced 0.65 per cent. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

Meanwhile, Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 59.13 crore last Friday, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges.

The market breadth remained positive as 1,437 stocks ended higher, 1,238 declined, while 189 ruled unchanged.
The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 3,012.89 crore, lower than turnover of Rs 3,081.68 crore registered during the previous trading session.

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