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Markets bank on lenders; end at record high

Last updated on: March 24, 2014 16:29 IST

Image: The BSE bull.
Photographs: Reuters SI Reporter in Mumbai

Benchmark indices gained 1.4% each on Monday, ending at record closing highs, as foreign investors latched on to banking names.

For the day, the Sensex closed up 300 points at 22,055 and the Nifty gained 89 points to close at 6,584.

In intra-day trades, the Sensex and Nifty surpassed their previous all-time highs hit just last week as the Nifty rose to a lifetime high of 6,591.50, while the benchmark Sensex touched a record high of 22,074.34.

Foreign investors have been particularly heavy buyers during the rally, with net purchases of $1.6 billion of shares so far this month, regulatory data showed.

According to regulatory data, FIIs bought a net $495 million in Indian banks, while selling a net $791 million in pharmaceutical and biotechnology shares this month as of March 15.

However, broader markets refrained to participate in the rally with the mid and smallcap indices marginally up 0.1% each as compared to the over one percent gains seen on the benchmark index.

Sectors & Stocks

Among the sectoral indices, banking index up nearly 3% was the top gainer.

All the banking scrips closed in the green with the Bank Nifty closing at a 10 month-high.

The optimism is on the hopes that Reserve Bank of India is likely to hold key rates in its next monetary policy review as the Consumer Price Index fell to a 25-month low in February, market expects share.

Yes Bank up 5% was the top gainer followed by ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank adding between 1.5-3.7%.

Oil & Gas index up 2.5% was the other major sectoral gainer.

ONGC gained over 4% ahead of board meeting today to consider interim dividend for the financial year 2013-14.

Reliance industries gained nearly 2% after the company on Saturday, 22 March 2014, said that since the Union Cabinet decided the new gas price policy way back in June 2013 and notified the decision on 10 January 2014, the model code of conduct should not be applied for the proposed revision in gas price which is to take effect from 1 April 2014.

Capital Goods, Power, Metal and Auto indices up 0.8-1% were the other notable sectoral gainers.

Meanwhile, Consumer Durables and Health Care indices closed in negative territory, down 0.3% and 0.6% respectively.

Profit booking in healthcare space saw Dr Reddys Lab, Cipla and Sun Pharma giving off 0.6%-1.3%. Also, these scrips were among the top Sensex losers.

IT index was flat with a negative bias as weakness in Wipro and Infosys which closed down 1% and 0.6%, weighed on the index.

Auto majors Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto, Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors added 0.6-2.6%.

ITC and HUL from the FMCG space moved up 1-1.6%.

The market breadth was negative on BSE owing to lackluster broader markets. 1,527 stocks declined while 1,276 stocks advanced.

Global Markets

Asian shares advanced moderately on Monday, choosing to embrace last week's firm performance by global equity markets while remaining fairly sanguine over the Crimea crisis and China's slowing growth.

Asian shares took an early knock after the China HSBC flash manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) fell to an eight-month low in March, the latest in a string of indicators pointing to a loss of momentum in China's economy.

But MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan still managed to add 0.9 percent and Japan's Nikkei share average gained 1.8 per cent, after solid performances on Wall Street last week, with the Dow and S&P 500 posting weekly gains of 1.5 percent and 1.4 percent.

However, European markets after recording their biggest weekly gain in a month last week, started lower. CAC, DAX and FTSE slipped 0.2-0.6%.

Source: source