Buoyant Nifty sees highest weekly gain in 16 months; RIL stock rises

A man walks past the NSE building in Mumbai | Photo: Reuters
Drop in oil prices and sharp gains in blue-chip stocks, such as Reliance Industries, saw the benchmark Nifty post its highest weekly gain in 16 months. 

The 50-share index gained 2.3 per cent during the week, the highest since the week ended March 19, 2017. 

The Sensex gained 2.48 per cent, the most since the week ended January 21, 2018, when it had gained nearly 2.7 per cent. During the week, the Sensex surpassed its previous lifetime high, which it had touched on January 29.

The optimism, however, was restricted to select stocks as the broader market continued to underperform. The Nifty Midcap 100 index ended the week with just 0.22 per cent gain, while the Nifty Smallcap 100 index ended with 0.22 per cent losses. The rupee ended the week with a gain of 0.5 per cent against the dollar.

Meanwhile, the benchmark indices on Friday ended their five-day winning streak following disappointing economic data. Despite a positive start, the Nifty ended 0.04 per cent, or four points, lower at 11,019 points. The Nifty Midcap 100 and Smallcap 100 fell sharply at 1.14 per cent and 2.6 per cent, respectively.

“Despite the positive global market and rise in the rupee, the domestic market traded in a tight range as investors reacted to spike in consumer inflation and fall in IIP. Moderating trend in oil price and yield is providing some stability to the market momentum. However, the sentiment is not broad-based as mid and small caps didn’t participate in the rally. The concern on premium valuation is influencing investors to stay away from mid-caps,” said Vinod Nair, head of research, Geojit Financial Services.

“We're bullish on Nifty and expect the prevailing upward march to extend further. But continuous fall in the broader market is causing maximum pain to the participants,” said Jayant Manglik, president, Religare Broking.

A sharp drop in crude oil prices have helped improved investor sentiment. On Wednesday, the benchmark Brent crude oil slumped $5.46, or 6.9 percent, most in nearly two years. Currently, Brent prices are hovering around $74.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 11 billion on Friday, while domestic investors provided buying support to the tune of Rs 8.7 billion. So far this year, FPIs have pulled out $800 million from India in 2018. The sell-off is less compared to that seen by regional peers such as Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea. Also, the Indian markets have been buoyed by mutual fund (MF) buying. This year, MFs have remained net purchasers of shares worth Rs 700 billion. On a year-to-date basis, the Sensex is up 7.5 per cent, most among major global markets. The returns for the mid-cap and small-cap indices, however, have been negative.


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