Sensex hits 6-mth high; surges over 260 pts to reclaim 38,000-mark

Mumbai, Mar 15 (PTI) Extending its winning run to the fifth session, BSE benchmark Sensex climbed 269 points to hit six-month high of 38,024 led by rally in banking stocks amid soaring foreign fund inflows, strengthening rupee and positive global cues.
After rallying nearly 500 points in afternoon trade, the Sensex settled 269.43 points, or 0.71 per cent, higher at 38,024.32.
The NSE Nifty closed 83.60 points, or 0.74 per cent, up at 11,426.85.
The 30-share index breached the 38,000-mark for the first time in six months. It had ended at 38,090.64 on September 14, 2018.
Broader indices, however, ended on a mixed note, with BSE midcap ending 0.55 per cent higher and BSE smallcap slipping 0.34 per cent.
Kotak Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, ending 4.31 per cent higher.
PowerGrid, TCS, ICICI Bank, SBI, HCL Tech, NTPC, Infosys, Bajaj Finance, HDFC duo, ONGC, Vedanta and IndusInd Bank too rose up to 2.84 per cent.
On the other hand, HUL, Yes Bank, ITC, Bharti Airtel, RIL, Sun Pharma and Axis Bank fell up to 2.16 per cent.
Sectorally, the BSE power, bankex, teck, oil and gas, IT and finance indices gained the most, rising up to 1.94 per cent; while BSE telecom, FMCG and energy indices fell up to 1.79 per cent.
“Benchmark indices outperformed with IT index leading from the front amid positive global cues, BREXIT & Trade-deal deadline has been extended. Besides, PSU banks are moving out of PCA frame and global liquidity is increasing supported by dovish FOMC which is positive for India. Strengthening rupee and drop in yield is positive for rate sensitive stocks,” Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said.
During the week, Sensex surged 1352.89 points, or 3.68 per cent; while Nifty climbed 391.89 points or, 3.54 per cent.
The BSE-30 index gained by around 3.5 per cent in the past week. Rally in the Indian markets was led by strong foreign institutional investors (FII), buying on account of reduction in geopolitical risks and opinion polls suggesting a likely return of the NDA government in the upcoming general elections, said Sanjeev Zarbade, Vice President- PCG Research, Kotak Securities.
On a net basis, FIIs bought shares worth a net of Rs 1,482.99 crore on Thursday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net sellers to the tune of Rs 817.77 crore, provisional data available with the BSE showed.
“The flows from overseas from the FIIs have helped the markets, and a stable to stronger Rupee has been facilitated by likely year end repatriations too, said Joseph Thomas, Head Research – Emkay Wealth Management.
Strengthening gains, the rupee appreciated 5 paise to 69.09 against the US dollar intra-day.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.56 per cent, Korea’s Kospi was up 0.95 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index rallied 1.04 per cent, and Japan’s Nikkei ended 0.77 per cent higher.
Similarly, in the Eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX gained 0.27 per cent. Paris CAC 40 rose 0.44 per cent.
London’s FTSE was up 0.54 per cent in early deals.
Global crude benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.43 per cent to USD 67.52 per barrel.

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