Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com Tulemino Antao in Mumbai
Benchmark share indices ended at fresh all-time closing highs on Monday, amid aggressive buying in late trades, with capital goods and bank shares leading the gains.
The 30-share Sensex gained 136 points to end at 22,765 and the 50-share Nifty ended up 38 points at 6,818.
Surprisingly, the India VIX which had surged to 16% intra-day finally ended up 11% at 34.22.
The rise in volatility indicates that traders are hedging their risks for the May series to protect their positions incase of a trend reversal in the markets. Generally, the India VIX has an inverse relationship with the market trend.
The rupee was trading sharply lower at 60.42 compared with its Thursday's close of 60.29/30 on account of the dollar demand from importers of crude oil.
Asian stocks ended lower as traders remained cautious over the emerging crisis in Ukraine. Meanwhile, stocks in Japan pared gains to end marginally lower.
The Nikkei ended down 0.03%, while the Shanghai Composite was down 1.5% amid economic growth woes. Straits Times ended up 0.1%. Hang Seng was closed for Easter holiday.
Major European stock markets are closed today on account of Easter holiday.
BSE Capital Goods index was the top gainer, up 2.9%, followed by Metal, Auto, Bankex, Power and Consumer Durables indices, up 0.4-2.2% each.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have been stocking up capital goods stocks on expectations that policies of the new government at the centre would help kick-start the investment / capex cycle. L&T was the top Sensex gainer, up 4%, while BHEL ended up 3.1% at Rs 187.
In the banking space, SBI, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank were up 1.5-2.6% each.
Among the auto majors, M&M ended up 3.5%, Maruti Suzuki gained 2.2% and Tata Motors ended up 0.8%.
ITC, HUL from the FMCG pack and Infosys, Wipro and Infosys from the IT pack, were among the major Sensex losers.
Wipro has dipped nearly 7% to end at Rs 547 after company's information technology (IT) revenue guidance for the first quarter (Q1FY2015) of the current fiscal was seen below estimates by some analysts.
Rail-related shares ended with gains.
Transformers and Rectifiers was up 3.5% while Kalindee Rail, Titagarh Wagons, Kernex Micro and Texmaco Rail ended up 3-16% each.
Hotel Leela ended nearly 17% up after the company said it is in talks with sovereign wealth funds of Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Malaysia to sell its prime properties in Delhi and Chennai for around Rs 1,850 crore (Rs 18.5 billion) to pare debt.
Sesa Sterlite ended up 4.8% after the Supreme Court lifted iron ore mining ban in Goa with a cap of not exceeding 20 mTPA and that the Goa govt must consider all leases expired post 2007.
Shasun Pharmaceuticals ended locked in 20% upper circuit at Rs 105 on the NSE after the company said it is planning to raise funds by issuing equity shares/warrants to promoters of the company on preferential basis.
Liberty Shoes rallied 14.4% to end at Rs 188 after reporting an over four-fold jump in its March quarter net profit at Rs 4.27 crore, due to higher sales. The footwear maker had posted a net profit of Rs 0.97 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.
Natco Pharma surged 7.5% to end at Rs 769 after the company said the US Supreme Court on Friday rejected Teva’s application for an injunction seeking to prevent the launch of generic version of Copaxone pending the Supreme Court’s decision on Teva’s appeal.
Biocon soared 9% to end at Rs 496, also its record high on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), on the back of heavy volumes.
In the broader markets, BSE Mid-cap and Small-Cap indices outperformed the benchmark indices up 0.8-1.4% each.
The market breadth was positive, with 1,761 gainers and 1,029 losers on the BSE.