Markets sign off 2017 with 28 pc gains

Markets sign off 2017 with 28 pc gains

Equities rallied on the last trading session of 2017 on Friday, bringing to close a remarkable year that saw the benchmarks surging past milestones and rewarding investors with a stellar 28% returns.

The BSE Sensex rose 209 points to finish at a fresh life-time high of 34,056.83 on Friday, while the broad-based NSE Nifty jumped 52.80 points, or 0.50%, to end at 10,530.70, just shy of its closing peak.

Power, IT, auto and infrastructure stocks witnessed robust buying, while the beginning of the January 2018 series of futures and options added to the momentum.

It has been an upbeat year for the markets. The Sensex and Nifty surpassed the 34,000 and 10,500 levels for the first time, shrugging off below-expected corporate earnings as well as uncertainties on the global front.

While the implementation of the GST caused short-term disruptions, investors feel the government will stay firm on its reforms agenda, backed by the BJP's strong showing in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, brokers said.

The Sensex clocked its best performance in recent years, rising by 7,430.37, or 27.91% in 2017. It had gained 508.92 points, or 1.94%, last year. The Nifty too rallied 2,344.90 points, or 28.65%, in 2017.

"Market surprised the investors with a positive note on the final trading day of 2017. Expectation of a pick up in third quarter earnings and strengthening of rupee supported the sentiment,"  said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

"Focus on upcoming Union Budget and government's reforms will direct investors to turn sector/stock specific. We feel that though the outlook on main indices is moderate in the short to medium-term, the broad market will maintain its vibrancy as businesses flourish," saidNair.

The 30-share index started the day on a strong note at 33,889.39 and hit a high of 34,086.05 before closing at 34,056.83, up by 208.80 points, or 0.62%.

It surpassed its previous closing high of 34,010.61 reached on December 26. The broad-based NSE Nifty rose 52.80 points, or 0.50%, to end at 10,530.70 after trading between 10,538.70 and 10,488.65.

Both the indices rose for the fourth straight week. The Sensex advanced by 116.53 points, or 0.34%, while the Nifty gained 37.70 points, or 0.35%, during the period.

Shares of Reliance Communications continued their rally for the fourth straight session today, ending 17% higher after Mukesh Ambani stepped in to bail out the debt- ridden firm by acquiring spectrum, tower, optical fibre network and other assets.

In four days, shares of the company have zoomed 122% adding Rs 5,506.76 crore to its market capitalisation.

In the Sensex kitty, Tata Motors saw the maximum gain of 3.06%, followed by Axis Bank (2.74%), TCS (2.72%), Hero MotoCorp (2.38%), Adani Ports (1.94%), Wipro (1.90%), Asian Paints (1.16%), Maruti Suzuki (1.05%), HDFC Ltd (0.94%), ONGC (0.85%), NTPC (0.83%) and Hindustan Unilever (0.79%).

Sector-wise, the rally was driven by telecom (up 1.63%), power (1.46%), teck (1.24%), IT (1.20%), auto (1.16%), FMCG (0.85%), consumer durables (0.85%), infrastructure (0.83%), capital goods (0.51%), realty (0.46%), bankex (0.36%) and healthcare (0.18%).

The BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices ended higher by 0.74%and 0.64%, respectively.

Trading was thin across global markets on the last session of the year. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.19 per cent while Shanghai Composite gained 0.33%. Japan's Nikkei shed 0.08%.

European markets were down in early trade with Paris CAC 40 falling 0.11%, while Frankfurt's DAX shed 0.29%. London's FTSE rose 0.27%.  

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