Bulls take Sensex close to 60,000 as investor sentiment gets huge boost

Topics stock markets | Sensex | Markets

Illustration: Ajay Mohanty
India’s benchmark indices notched new highs on Thursday after investor sentiment got a boost from the US Federal Reserve’s dovish commentary.

The Sensex ended the session at 59,885 with a gain of 958 points, or 1.6 per cent. In intra-day trade, the index hit 59,957, just 43 points shy of the psychological 60,000 mark. The Nifty, on the other hand, rose 276 points to close at 17,823.

Most global markets had shed gains this week amid concerns about potential risk spillover from Evergrande’s debt crunch and the outcome of the Fed meeting. However, investors once again increased their risky bets following some comfort on both these fronts.

The Chinese developer's statement that it had struck a deal on one imminent debt repayment comforted investors. The markets were also relieved by the Federal Reserve's tone indicating that it had kept the option of extending the stimulus.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the tapering of bond purchases could begin in November and the process would be completed by the middle of next year. He further said he did not expect the Fed to begin rate increases before completing the taper process.

“The outcome of the Fed meeting wasn’t as bad as some had feared. News on Evergrande was a bigger relief, as a lot of its debt is held by big banks. As of now, the Fed is talking of hikes in 2023. Till the Fed's next meeting, it will be business as usual,” said U R Bhat, co-founder and director, Alphanti Fintech.

“There are indications of heightened economic activity in India. We have to keep a watch on high-frequency data. The valuations are stretched. As long as liquidity comfort is there and high-frequency data points to improving fundamentals, the market can continue to gain," said Bhat.

Many expect the Sensex to go past 60,000 and the Nifty to top 18,000 in the next few sessions. The latest 5,000-point jump by the Sensex has taken just 28 trading sessions.

Shares of Reliance Industries rose 2.4 per cent to end at a new high of Rs 2,490 apiece. The stock made a 172-point contribution to the Sensex gains. HDFC Bank and HDFC contributed about 140 points each.

The market breadth was positive, with 1,913 stocks advancing and 1,347 declining. As many as 254 stocks hit their 52-week highs, and 308 hit an upper circuit. Four-fifths of the Sensex components ended the session with gains. Bajaj Finserv gained 5.1 per cent, the most among the Sensex components, followed by L&T, which rose 3.5 per cent.

The BSE Realty index rose 8.7 per cent, extending its three-day gain to 22 per cent.

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