The Sensex rose 103 points to end at over five-month high today, spurred by index heavyweight RIL and short-covering ahead of derivatives expiry on Thursday. This was the fifth straight session of gains for both the key indices Sensex and Nifty. Reliance Industries was the top gainer in the 30-share Sensex pack, surging 10.97 per cent to Rs 1,207.65, its highest in over eight years, after its telecom venture Jio said it will begin charging for data services from April.
Short-covering of positions — speculators buying stocks that have been sold short to steer clear of losses — in view of tomorrow’s February month derivatives contract expiry added to the upmove.
The Sensex opened higher at 28,822.40 and stayed in the positive terrain throughout the session to hit a high of 28,963.52. It finally ended 103.12 points, or 0.36 per cent higher at 28,864.71. This is its highest closing since September 8 last year when it had ended at 29,045.28.
The index gained 606.03 points in the previous four sessions on sustained foreign fund inflows and massive buying by domestic institutional investors amid upbeat global cues.
The 50-share NSE Nifty ended at 8,926.90, up 19.05 points or 0.21 per cent, after moving between 8,960.75 and 8,905.25.
“Markets in India have been trading up, much like their counterparts across the globe. On the sectoral front, IT, media, metals and healthcare stocks traded with losses. On the other hand, public sector banking stocks witnessed some buying interest,” said Karthikraj Lakshmanan, Senior Fund Manager – Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.
Meanwhile, foreign funds sold shares worth a net Rs 1,435.76 crore yesterday, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges.
Globally, US stocks closed at new highs again, extending recent gains powered by hopes that US President Donald Trump would soon unveil details of a major tax cut plan.
In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.99 per cent, while Shanghai’s Composite Index gained 0.24 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei ended almost flat.
European markets too were trading higher as investors cheered robust factory activity as key indices in France, Germany and UK’s FTSE rose by up to 0.64 per cent.
The BSE Mid-Cap index provisionally fell 0.58 per cent, while the small-Cap index slipped 0.58 per cent. Among the 30 Sensex components, 11 stocks gained while 19 declined.
Reliance Industries was the star performer, followed by Axis Bank (3.93 per cent), Asian Paints (2.92 per cent), Coal India (2.63 per cent), Hero Motoco (1.16 per cent), SBI (0.42 per cent) and Tata Motors (0.26 per cent).
NTPC fell 3.36 per cent, TCS 2.22 per cent, Power Grid 2.19 per cent, Infosys 2.08 per cent, Tata Steel 1.49 per cent, Adani Ports 1.32 per cent, HDFC 1.28 per cent, Cipla 1.25 per cent, Lupin 0.99 per cent and HDFC Bank 0.93 per cent.
Sector-wise, the BSE energy index jumped 4.53 per cent, followed by oil and gas (1.77 per cent), telecom (0.46 per cent) and bankex (0.24 per cent).
However, IT fell 1.69 per cent, utilities 1.42 per cent, consumer durables 1.35 per cent, teck 1.35 per cent, power 1.28 per cent and healthcare 0.61 per cent.
Market breadth turned negative as 1,746 stocks ended lower, 1,094 closed higher while 194 ruled steady.
The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 3,575.62 crore, higher than Rs 3,017.92 crore registered during the previous trading session.