Markets settle marginally higher, Nifty holds above 9,300 ; IT stocks rally

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Benchmark indices closed marginally higher today on the back of realty, IT, telecom and banking stocks. The sentiment was boosted by a rise in Asian stocks on investor relief after centrist Emmanuel Macron comfortably won the French presidential election.


Macron's emphatic victory brought comfort to investors and European allies alike, who had been nervous about the risk of another populist upheaval, following Britain's vote to quit the EU and Donald Trump's election as US president - neither of which had been predicted by pollsters or bookmakers.


The S&P BSE Sensex settled at 29,926, up 67 points, while the broader Nifty50 ended at 9,314, up 29 points.


In the broader market, the S&P BSE Midcap and the S&P BSE Smallcap outperformed to gain 0.5% and 0.7%, respectively. 


Broader gains were capped as investors awaited corporate results from major firms like Bharti Airtel and Hero MotoCorp later in the week.

"The market gained on global optimism led by favorable outcome of French presidential election & government’s decision to give more power to RBI to deal with stressed assets. The merger of cement majors has been taken positively by  investors and supported the market sentiment," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services in a technical note.


Sectors and Stocks


Cement stocks held on to their gains, with ACC and Ambuja Cements rising 6% and 8% respectively after the Swiss cement giant Lafarge Holcim set the ball rolling for the merger of both the companies. ACC ended 3.4% higher while Ambuja Cements advanced 6.4%.


Lupin, Asian Paints, Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank and Wipro gained the most on BSE Sensex while ITC, HDFC, Bajaj Auto, L&T and Adani Ports were the biggest laggards.


BSE Bankex index gained nearly 1% led by Federal Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank and SBI as banks continued to gain after government tweaked its laws last week to help tackle a record $150 billion in bad loans.


ICICI Bank (up 1.6%) gained for the third session in a row and was the top Sensex gainer. The private sector lender had reported a nearly three-fold jump in its standalone net profit at Rs 2,025 crore in the March 2017 quarter.


SBI gained 1% after it cut low cost home loan rate (under Rs 30 lakh) by 25 bps to 8.35% and above Rs 30 lakh by 10 bps.


BSE Realty index advanced over 4.5%, snapping 2-consecurive session loss led by India Bulls Realestate, HDIL, DLF and Prestige.


Global Markets


Asian shares gained and US stock futures briefly touched a record high, on investor relief after centrist Emmanuel Macron comfortably won the French presidential election.


But the European stocks pulled back from highs touched after Emmanuel Macron's emphatic but well-flagged victory in France's presidential election as investors' focus shifted from politics to monetary policy. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.1% while France's CAC 40 index fell 0.6%.


MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.8%, snapping a three-day losing streak.


Japan's Nikkei gained 2.3% to hit a near 1 1/2-year high after a five-day weekend due to the Golden Week holidays.


The S&P 500 mini futures gained 0.2% to hit a record high of 2,403.75 in early trade before giving up the gains to trade flat.

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