Strong demand for capital goods, banking and auto scrips
The Bombay Stock Exchange sensitive index, Sensex, rallied 206 points on Thursday and closed at 18506.82 against 18300.90, maintaining the winning momentum for the fifth session in a row, as food inflation dipped further and outlook was broadly positive in the overseas markets.
The benchmark index gained 1,043.78 points or 5.98 per cent in the past five sessions, making it one of the strongest winning streaks so far this year.
Capital goods, banking and auto counters were in strong demand, while realty counters attracted profit-booking after smart gains.
Food inflation fell for the second straight week to a two-week low of 11.05 per cent for the week ended February 5, against 13.07 per cent in the previous week, providing some relief to the market participants. They said low inflation will keep interest rates from rising sharply in the near future.
The NSE 50-share Nifty also ended stronger by 64.75 points or 1.18 per cent to a 3-week high of 5546.45. Some brokers termed the gains as pre-budget rally, while others said that it was short-coverings ahead of the Union Budget to be presented on February 28, as well as the approaching expiry of February series of contracts next Thursday. “The pre-budget rally continues on BSE, with the Indian indices extending their winning streak to a fifth straight trading session after government data showed a steep decline in food inflation,” said IIFL Head of Research Amar Ambani.
On the global front, Asian stock markets ended narrowly mixed.
The key indices in China, Hong Kong and Japan closed with gains while from Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan ended with losses. European shares were trading nearly flat in their afternoon trading.
Overall, 19 of 30 index-based stocks settled with gains, while others closed with losses.
HDFC Bank was the top gainer from the Sensex pack with a surge of 4.15 per cent to Rs. 2,183.80. HDFC gained by 3.15 per cent to Rs. 649.35, Bharti Airtel 3.14 per cent by Rs. 338.45, L&T by 2.69 per cent to Rs. 1,693.80, Tata Steel by 2.16 per cent to Rs. 654.90), M&M by 1.84 per cent to Rs. 669.25, Bajaj Auto by 1.62 per cent to Rs. 1,353 and ITC by1.05 per cent to Rs. 158.35
The rupee appreciated by 18 paise against the dollar on Thursday and closed at 45.34/35 following bullish local equities amid sale of dollar by exporters and some banks.
It closed at 45.52/53 on Tuesday.
At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened, after Wednesday's holiday, higher at 45.45/46 a dollar and touched a low of 45.50.
Later, it recovered in line with equities and touched a high of 45.33 before finishing at 45.34/35.