Growth projection, global cues lift indices to record highs (Roundup)

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Mumbai : Positive global cues, along with prediction of healthy economic growth and better-than-expected quarterly results, lifted the key Indian equity indices to new record intra-day and closing high-levels on Wednesday.

According to market observers, the inflow of foreign funds and healthy buying in consumer durables, banking and oil and gas stocks pushed the key indices higher.

Coupled with this, the IMF in its "country report" said the near-term macro-economic outlook is broadly favorable for India and that economic growth is forecast to rise to 7.3 per cent in 2018-19 and 7.5 per cent in 2019-20, on strengthening investment and robust private consumption.

However, volatile crude oil prices capped gains.

Index-wise, the 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) closed the day's trade at a fresh high of 37,887.56 points, up 221.76 points and 0.59 per cent from its previous close.

The barometer index touched a fresh record high of 37,931.42 points and a low of 37,641.40 points during the day's trade.

Similarly, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) made gains during the session. It closed at a fresh high of 11,450 points, up 60.55 points or 0.53 per cent from its previous close.

The NSE Nifty50 made a fresh intra-day record high of 11,459.95 points.

"After a muted start, market scaled to new high on account of increase in FII inflow and in line quarter earnings," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

"Strong domestic triggers will continue to add room to outlook, whereas factors like volatility in oil price and rupee may delay the pace of rally. Global markets were mixed as investors continue to stay cautious due to lingering concern on US trade tensions."

BNP Paribas Mutual Fund's Senior Fund Manager Equities Market Abhijeet Dey said: "Stock markets in India started the day on a buoyant note triggered by positive Asian stocks. Buying in select index heavyweights boosted benchmark indices and pushed them to finally close the day with gains of over 0.25 per cent."

On the currency front, the rupee strengthened by 6 paise to 68.62 against the US dollar from its previous close of 68.68.

Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors bought scrip worth Rs 568.63 crore, while the domestic institutional investors sold stocks worth Rs 30.25 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE consumer durables index rose 271.02 points, the banking index was up 245.02 points and the oil and gas index ended higher by 108.20 points.

In contrast, the S&P BSE auto index declined by 66.48 points, followed by the healthcare index, which was down 48.34 points and the IT index which ended lower by 16.95 points.

The major gainers on the Sensex were ONGC, up 2.87 per cent at Rs 171.90; Reliance, up 2.85 per cent at Rs 1217.25; ICICI Bank, up 1.63 per cent at Rs 318.20 Tata Motors , up 1.60 per cent at Rs 142.50; and State Bank of India up 1.53 per cent from Rs 308.65 per share.

The major losers were Maruti Suziki India, down 1.99 per cent at Rs 9,209.50; Bajaj Auto, down 0.96 per cent at Rs 2,658 ; Vedanta, down 0.90 per cent at Rs 224.75; NTPC, down 0.28 per cent at Rs 157.70; and Infosys, down 0.47 per cent at Rs 1,362.90 per share.

On Tuesday, profit booking, along with concerns over global protectionist measures, subdued both the key indices.

Consequently, the barometer had closed at 37,665.80 points, down by 26.09 points and 0.07 per cent on Tuesday.

In contrast, the Nifty50 closed on a flat-to-positive note at 11,389.45 points, up by just 2.35 points or 0.02 per cent.