Markets come off record highs; ITC surges 4%

Markets surged in opening trades to hit record highs with the Sensex topping the 28,800 mark but retreated later as traders turned cautious and booked profits at higher levels.

By 9:30, the Sensex was higher by 175 points at 28,618 whereas the Nifty gained by 88 points at 8,625. Sensex and Nifty have hit the fresh record high of 28,809 and 8,627, respectively.

On Wednesday, the total market capitalisation on the Bombay Stock Exchange topped the Rs 100 trillion mark. The total market capitalisation stood at Rs 100,40, 625 crore at close.

Among broader markets, BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices are up by almost 0.6%. The markets breadth in BSE remains healthy with 1,009 shares advancing and 338 shares declining.

On the global front, US stocks rose on Wednesday, with both the Dow and S&P 500 ending at records, as data pointed to improving conditions in the US services sector, boosting cyclical stocks.

Both the Dow and S&P also ticked to intraday records in a quiet session, with many traders looking ahead to tomorrow's key meeting of the European Central Bank.

Asian stocks rose on Thursday amid fresh signs of resilience in the US economy, while the euro wallowed near two-year lows before a much-anticipated European Central Bank meeting that could open the door to more stimulus.

Tokyo's Nikkei climbed 0.7%, touching a new seven-year high, with sentiment buoyed by media projections suggesting a strong win for Japanese premier Shinzo Abe's coalition at the Dec 14 election. A victory for Abe could lead to a new mandate for his "Abenomics" policies to revive the economy.

The broader Topix also scaled a six-year peak, adding 0.8% to 1,441.33, with toymaker Tomy jumping 10.0% to its highest since 2011 after announcing a 6.7 billion yen ($55.9 million) share buyback.

Back home, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 391.07 crore yesterday as per provisional data.

On the sectoral front, BSE FMCG index has surged by almost 3% led by ITC. Infact, all the major BSE sectoral indices are trading in positive zone.

ITC is the top Sensex gainer, up by nearly 5%. Other notable gainers are Cipla, ICICI Bank, Hindalco, BHEL, Sesa Sterlite and HUL.

ICICI Bank is up 1% trading ex-stock split today. Shareholders would be entitled to receive five equity shares of nominal value of Rs. 2/- each in lieu of one equity share of nominal value of Rs. 10/- each of the Bank.

Also, the bank is in news on reducing interest rates on retail term deposits along with HDFC Bank.

On the losing side, Sun Pharma, Hero Moto, Coal India, M&M and Wipro have dropped by nearly 1%.

SAIL has slipped by almost 3% as government has decided to kick-start the divestment process from tomorrow by selling 5% of its stake in the steel major.

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