Markets extend gains for 6th day as bank stocks soar

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Equity benchmarks defied gravity for the sixth straight session on Friday following smart gains in bank and finance stocks, while global markets were mixed despite the US Fed outlining a more accommodative stance. A sharp jump in the rupee and unabated foreign fund inflows further bolstered sentiment, traders said.
After touching an intra-day peak of 39,579.58, the BSE Sensex ended 353.84 points or 0.90 per cent higher at 39,467.31.
The NSE Nifty surged 88.35 points or 0.76 per cent to close at 11,647.60. During the week, the Sensex soared 1,032.59 points or 2.68 per cent, while the Nifty advanced 276 points or 2.42 per cent. IndusInd Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack on Friday, spurting 8.43 per cent, followed by Axis Bank, ICIC Bank, Sun Pharma, SBI and Kotak Bank.
On the other hand, PowerGrid, Infosys, NTPC, Asian Paints, HUL, M&M and Tata Steel were among the major laggards, shedding up to 1.24 per cent.
Global equities were mixed after US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank will remain accommodative and shift to a more relaxed approach on inflation. However, lack of specifics disappointed markets, analysts said. “Global markets were trading uncertain following the US Fed Reserve's policy shift to focus on economic growth and less on inflation. However, the indication that the US Fed would continue to let interest rates remain low and expectation of more stimulus to follow, boosted the Indian markets.
“The stimulus and the associated liquidity are important to our markets since that has been one of the drivers for the current stock market run. As per NSDL, FPI net investments into equity, as a whole, have been around Rs 45,000 crore, which makes it one of the best months for net inflows,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
BSE bankex, telecom, finance, oil and gas, energy and realty indices rallied as much as 4 per cent, while auto, utilities, IT, FMCG and metal closed lower.
In the broader markets, the BSE mid-cap index rose 0.55 per cent, while the small-cap gauge fell 0.23 per cent.
Strong foreign fund inflows, led by high global liquidity and decline in US dollar, also fuelled the markets, traders said.
Foreign institutional investors bought equities worth a net Rs 1,164.32 crore on Thursday, exchange data showed.
The rupee soared 43 paise to end at 73.39 against the US dollar on Friday.
In rest of Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul ended with gains. Japan's Nikkei tumbled after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned due to health reasons.
Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a mixed note in early deals.
Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.35 per cent lower at USD 45.44 per barrel.
Meanwhile, a record single-day spike of 77,266 COVID-19 cases pushed India's virus tally to 33,87,500, while the recoveries surged to 25,83,948 on Friday, according to the Union Health Ministry data. The death toll climbed to 61,529, with 1,057 people succumbing to the diseases in a span of 24 hours.

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