Benchmarks scale fresh peaks; IT, metal, pharma stocks shine

Mumbai: The BSE Sensex defied gravity for the eighth straight session to finish at yet another record high on Wednesday as positive global cues and robust foreign fund inflows fuelled risk-on sentiment.

The government approving a Rs 2 lakh crore production-linked incentive package for various sectors also buoyed investors, traders said.

After touching its all-time peak of 43,708.47 during a see-saw session, the 30-share BSE index settled 316.02 points or 0.73 per cent higher at 43,593.67.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty vaulted 118.05 points or 0.93 per cent to close at a record 12,749.15. Intra-day, it touched its all-time high of 12,769.75.

Both the key indices scaled record highs for the third session on the trot.

Tata Steel was the top gainer among the Sensex constituents, surging 7.39 per cent, followed by Axis Bank, Bajaj Finserv, ITC, Sun Pharma, Infosys, L&T and Bharti Airtel.

Kotak Mahindra Bank spurted 3.12 per cent after MSCI said it will add the private sector lender and 11 other domestic firms to the MSCI India Index.

On the other hand, IndusInd Bank, Reliance Industries, Titan, Asian Paints, HUL and HDFC Bank closed in the red, tumbling up to 5.62 per cent.

The Cabinet on Wednesday approved offering Rs 2 lakh crore worth of production-linked incentives to 10 more sectors to boost domestic manufacturing.

The incentives will be offered for sectors such as white goods manufacturing, pharmaceutical, specialised steel, auto, telecom, textile, food products, solar photovoltaic and cell battery.

Global markets remained upbeat on continued optimism over Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine news.

“Domestic markets remained upbeat and extended gain for the eighth consecutive day as positive sentiments among investors following clarity of coronavirus vaccine by BioNTech-Pfizer and strong 2Q FY21 corporate earnings persist. While market witnessed some amount of volatility today led by profit booking in some of heavyweights, a sharp rebound in pharma, metals, IT and auto stocks supported market rally.

“As market has already witnessed a sharp run up and valuations appear to be quite stretched at current level, profit booking at these levels cannot be ruled out and therefore investors should be cautious at these levels. We continue to believe that a strong earnings rebound still looks to be difficult given ambiguity over capex cycle recovery,” said Arjun Yash Mahajan Head Institutional Business at Reliance Securities.

BSE metal, healthcare, IT, teck, utilities, power and auto indices rose as much as 3.51 per cent, while energy and consumer durables finished in the red.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices spurted up to 0.77 per cent.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Hong Kong ended in the red, while Seoul and Tokyo closed with gains.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a positive note in early deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 3.12 per cent higher at USD 44.98 per barrel.

Foreign institutional investors remained net buyers in the capital markets, buying shares worth Rs 5,627.32 crore on Tuesday, according to provisional exchange data.

The rupee declined 18 paise to close at 74.36 against the US dollar on Wednesday, tracking strengthening American currency in the overseas market and higher crude prices. 


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Sagar Biswas

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