Fund inflows, Q1 results lift equity indices to fresh benchmarks (Market Review)

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Mumbai : Healthy inflow of foreign funds, along with domestic political developments and positive global cues, lifted the Indian equity indices to fresh weekly record highs in the trade ended Friday.

Additionally, IMF's prediction of healthy economic growth, combined with better-than-expected quarterly results and low crude oil prices, aided the two key indices -- S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 -- to make substantial gains.

On a weekly basis, the S&P BSE Sensex closed at 37,869.23 points, higher by 313.07 points or 0.82 per cent from its previous close.

The positive sentiment pushed the barometer index to a fresh intra-day record high of 38,076.23 points and a closing high of 38,024.37 points during the trade week ended Friday.

Similarly, the wider Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) made gains. It ended at 11,429.50 points, higher by 68.7 points or 0.58 per cent from its previous close.

The Nifty50 made a fresh intra-day record high of 11,495.20 points and closing high of 11,470.70 points.

However, the market breadth was negative in four out of the five trading sessions of the week, indicative of the current buying bias towards the large cap stocks.

"Markets rallied further this week to close at new lifetime highs. Selling pressure seen towards the end of the week curbed the gains," HDFC Securities' Retail Research Head Deepak Jasani, told IANS.

"Sectorally, top gainers were metal, Bank Nifty, media and energy indices. The top losers were pharma and infra indices."

According to Geojit Financial Services' Head of Research Vinod Nair: "Consolidation in oil prices and in-line Q1 results were the key reason for a trend reversal in domestic market."

"Sectors like NBFC, IT, FMCG were best performing sectors whereas worst performers were auto and cement. We are likely to see continuation of this momentum in the near term supported by improvement in earnings and reversal in FIIs flows."

In addition, sentiments were buoyed after the IMF in its "country report" said the near-term macro-economic outlook is broadly favourable for India and the election of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government's candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh as the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

However, on Friday geo-political concerns over global protectionist measures
and profit booking pulled both the major equity indices lower.

"Market has gained pace due to sustained capital inflow and healthy earnings," SMC Investments & Advisors' Chairman and Managing Director D.K. Aggarwal told IANS.

"On the flip side, the Indian rupee was also weak against US dollar amid risk aversion spurred by geopolitical tensions between the US and other countries."

On the currency front, the rupee closed at 68.83 on Friday, weakened by 22 paise from its previous week's close of 68.61 per greenback.

In terms of investments, provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors bought scrip worth Rs 992.18 crore, while the domestic institutional investors sold stocks worth Rs 301.43 crore in the past week.

The top weekly Sensex gainers were ICICI Bank (up 7.66 per cent at Rs 328.15); Axis Bank (up 7.19 per cent at Rs 615.65); Tata Steel (up 3.68 per cent at Rs 575.55); Yes Bank (up 2.38 per cent at Rs 383); and Mahindra and Mahindra (up 2.76 per cent at Rs 945 per share).

The major losers were Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (down 5.34 per cent at Rs 553.60 ); Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (down 5.33 per cent at Rs 378.45); Tata Motors (down 3.29 per cent at Rs 250.25); Bajaj Auto (down 2.13 per cent at Rs 2,631.25); and Larsen and Toubro (down 2.05 per cent at Rs 1,264.90 per share).