Sensex, Nifty dart up to record highs; TCS stands tall amid IT selloff


Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex resumed its record-setting streak on Thursday after a day’s pause as gains in index major TCS offset profit-booking in the IT pack following strong results by Infosys and Wipro.

A broad upmove in global equities and a recovering rupee further propped up the bourses, traders said.

Recovering from a shaky start, the 30-share BSE Sensex gained momentum during the day to end at its new lifetime high of 49,584.16, up 91.84 points or 0.19 per cent.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty rose 30.75 points or 0.21 per cent to finish at a record 14,595.60.

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TCS topped the Sensex gainer’s chart, spurting 2.89 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, L&T, ITC, Reliance Industries, HUL and Sun Pharma.

On the other hand, HCL Tech, Axis Bank, Asian Paints, UltraTech Cement, Infosys and Tech Mahindra were among the laggards, declining up to 2.63 per cent.

Infosys on Wednesday posted a 16.6 per cent rise in consolidated net profit at Rs 5,197 crore for the December 2020 quarter, and increased its revenue growth guidance for FY21 to 4.5-5 per cent on the back of large project wins and strong deal pipeline.

Wipro posted an about 21 per cent jump in consolidated net profit at Rs 2,968 crore for the December 2020 quarter, and said the demand environment is improving steadily.

Domestic equities witnessed a brisk recovery from the day’s low mainly led by a rebound in FMCG and pharma stocks, said Binod Modi, Head- Strategy at Reliance Securities.

IT index has been the most surprising as profit-booking was visible in many IT stocks despite strong Q3 numbers and upbeat guidance shared by the managements, he added.

“We believe underlying strength of the market remains intact and any correction in the market is likely to be bought out. Sustained recovery in key economic data for Dec’20, better-than-expected 3Q FY21 corporate earnings so far and upbeat managements’ commentaries continue to augur well for the market,” he said.

BSE capital goods, oil and gas, energy, healthcare, FMCG and industrials indices rose up to 1.67 per cent, while metal, basic materials, consumer durables, bankex, teck, finance and IT closed with losses.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices jumped up to 0.29 per cent.

On the macroeconomic front, the wholesale price-based inflation moderated to 1.22 per cent in December as prices of kitchen staples onion and potato eased, government data showed on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings said the Indian economy will suffer lasting damage from the coronavirus crisis, with growth slowing down after an initial strong rebound next fiscal.

Global markets looked beyond US President Donald Trump’s record second impeachment and focussed on his successor Joe Biden’s proposed USD 2 trillion stimulus programme.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended in the positive territory, while Shanghai was in the red.

Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading with gains in early deals.

The global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.12 per cent lower at USD 55.99 per barrel.

The rupee gained for the third straight day and closed 11 paise higher at 73.04 against the US dollar.

Foreign institutional investors remained net buyers in the capital markets, snapping up shares worth Rs 1,879.06 crore on Wednesday, according to provisional exchange data. 

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Sagar Biswas

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