The markets had a cracker of a session, especially towards the end of trade, to end at record highs on hopes of a favourable monsoon and continued optimism about a turnaround in the economy. The Sensex ended at record highs of 25,396, stronger by 376 points, the Nifty also followed suit at 7,583, up 109 points and so did the midcap index, which ended at 9,098, up 142 points. The small cap index ended at 9774, up 150 points. Five of the 12 BSE sectoral indices ended at 52-week highs, with the oil and gas index hogging the limelight with runaway gains of nearly 5%. ONGC, RIL and HDFC contributed more than 50% to the gains on Dalal Street.
The BSE benchmark Sensex had captured Mount 25k, and hit new all-time closing highs, on Thursday after a period of consolidation spanning the past two weeks. And the adrenalin rush continued unabated in the current session. Four days after missing its date with the country, the crucial South West Monsoon finally hit Kerala and this was confirmed by Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
The decision by the European Central Bank on Thursday, to cut the interest rates, is also likely to further open the floodgates for Indian stocks.
On the global front, Asian markets were trading mixed since the European Central Bank’s easing package only meagerly lifted the investor sentiment. Hang Seng, Kospi and Shanghai lost around half a per cent each, whiler Straits Times and SET gained by a similar percentage. The European markets, including the FTSE, CAC and DAX, are however flat in early trades.
On the economic front, the rupee has gained marginally as RBI was spotted buying dollars through state-owned banks. The rupee is currently trading at 59.1 against the US dollar.
The BSE Oil & gas index surged by a whopping 4.8% to top the sectoral gainers list on the BSE following reports that the oil ministry is looking to clarify the new government's stand on the gas prices by the beginning of July. ONGC galloped by 10% to touch a life-time high of Rs 461, Gail India soared by 7.3% at Rs 419 and RIL jumped by 3.1% at Rs 1122. In the broader oil space, BPCL gained 1.3% to touch all-time high of Rs 625 and HPCL advanced by 1.4% to Rs 453.
In the realty space, DLF raced ahead by 6.1%, while Unitech, HDIL and Oberoi Realty gained between 3% and 6% each.
Sugar stocks such as Bajaj Hindusthan, Balrampur Chini, Dhampur Sugar, Shree Renuka Sugars and Triveni Engineering sweetened by 8-13% each after Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Thursday that the food ministry is examining a proposal to raise the import duty from 15 to 40 per cent. It might also consider fixing the export incentive on raw sugar for two years against the current practice of revising it every two months.
The IT space remained the only sore point in an otherwise spectacular market performance. The BSE IT index slipped almost a percent, weighed down by losses in Infosys (down 1.4% at Rs 2995) and Tata Consultancy Services (down 0.8% at Rs 2087). Infosys has suffered another top level exit. Prasad Thrikutam, the global head for sales and marketing at Infosys quit on Thursday, in what is the latest in a series of senior management exits in the last one year.
The metal stocks saw some profit-booking post the stellar gains in the past 3-4 trading sessions. Sesa Sterlite shed 2.6% at Rs 306 and Hindalco lost 0.6% at Rs 168.
In the broader markets, Videocon Industries jumped by 3.4% to Rs 191 after announcing a collaboration with Huawei to launch the state-of-the-art 4G LTE-ready Packet Core technology in India.
Strides Arcolab zoomed by 9.4% at Rs 599 after it received an approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for manufacture of generic Methoxsalen capsules in 10mg dosage.
The market breadth was strong; Out of 3193 stocks traded on the BSE, there were 2129 gainers and 969 losers on the BSE.