Equity benchmarks climbed to fresh three month highs Wednesday, with the Sensex topping the psychological 20,000-mark for the first time since January 29 this year. The bullish mood in world markets, sustained buying by foreign institutional investors and better-than-expected quarterly numbers from HDFC were the driving factors, brokers said. The Congress victory in the Karnataka state poll was also seen a positive as a resounding defeat for BJP is expected to ease some pressure on the ruling UPA coalition.
The Sensex closed at 19990.18, up 101.23 points over the previous close, after hitting a high of 20037.27 in the closing moments of trade. The Nifty closed at 6069.30, up 25.75 points over the previous close. With today's rise, the Nifty has gained 575 points or 10 percent over the last month.
HDFC led gainers among large caps, gaining close to 4 percent after the company's fourth quarter numbers beat analyst estimates.
In the Nifty, key gainers were ITC, HUL, HDFC Bank and Ultratech Cement, which rose between 1-3 percent.
Bharti Airtel, Hero Motocorp, Tata Steel, Mahindra & Mahindra and Jindal Steel were the key laggards, declining between 1-2 percent.
Midcaps and small caps continued to gain at a slower pace than their large cap counterparts, underscoring investor 'safety first' approach even while being bullish.
Brokerage house Citi cautioned that it was not a bull market yet even though FIIs have been buying heavily for the last few months.
"While foreign flows have been very strong, FII portfolio stance seems to have turned more conservative, with higher allocations to energy, telecom and health care, and lower allocations to the stronger performing/larger financials and IT," the Citi note to clients said.
FII ownership of the Indian stock market hit an all-time high of 21.2 percent during the March quarter, up 1.28 percentage points over the previous quarter.
But brokerage house JP Morgan warned that increased FII exposure to Indian equities had its drawback too.
"This position highlights the vulnerability of India to a global risk off trade. The vulnerability extends to the currency as well - the large current account deficit is being funded mainly by capital flows and underscores the need for the Government to ensure growth revival," said the JP Morgan note to clients.
Also, some experts feel commodity prices could rebound near term, as physical demand for some of them like gold and copper are robust.
Already, the cheer over falling gold prices on India's high current account deficit (CAD) has faded, because of higher demand for physical gold. The RBI has again tightened rules on purchase and sale of gold, but most experts feel demand will not abate.
"We have got stimulations through money printing, we have got interest rates falling and higher negative interest rates and we have got (commodity) producers right now becoming pretty cautious on how they spend money which means your supply side is shrinking while we have stable demand. So prices have overreacted from the downside and have probably a pretty fair chance as a group to recover," Juerg Kiener of Swiss Asia Capital said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.
The BSE benchmark Sensex crossed the 20,000-mark on Wednesday, as FII buying continued to fuel market rally.
At 15.30 hrs IST, the Sensex is up 135.75 points or 0.68 percent at 20024.70, and the Nifty up 37.55 points or 0.62 percent at 6081.10.
Top gainers on the Sensex: HDFC (3.85 percent), ITC (2.27 percent), HDFC Bank (1.38 percent) HUL (1.23 percent) and Coal India (0.74 percent)
About 1230 shares have advanced, 1180 shares declined, and 143 shares are unchanged.
The market was heading higher in afternoon trade. The Sensex was up 73.52 points at 19962.47, while the Nifty gained 14.10 points to be at 6057.65.
In a major political development, Congress has crossed the majority mark and is set to form the government in Karnataka. There is tussle for the Chief Minister's post among the contenders.
Meanwhile, FMCG stocks have held up the market even as banks, capital goods and metals remained under pressure.
HDFC, Tata Motors, ITC, HUL and HDFC Bank were the big gainers in the Sensex.
The market gave thumbs up to Corporation Bank (up 6.14 percent). The bank has posted flat profit in January-March quarter, but impressed with a sharp fall in bad loans to 1.72 percent of total loans from 2.18 percent in the previous quarter.
Hero MotoCorp, L&T, Jindal Steel, Tata Steel and Bharti Airtel were the losers in the Sensex.
Uco Bank tanked 4 percent as March quarter profits dipped 80 percent as a result of aggressive provisions. Provisions was up 114 percent year-on-year.
Oracle Financial Services fell 5 percent as promoters planned to sell stake via offer for sale to meet public shareholding norm.
Indian shares were consolidating in afternoon after scaling to fresh three-month highs in opening bell on Wednesday. Capital goods, realty, power and metal stocks were key laggards. Selective buying was seen in pharma and FMCG stocks.
The Sensex was down 4 points at 19884 and the Nifty was down 7 points at 6036. About 972 shares advanced, 998 shares declined and 116 shares remain unchanged.
Japanese shares hit a five-year high on Wednesday, buoyed by a record finish on Wall Street and data showing unexpectedly strong industrial orders for Germany, easing concerns over the euro zone's powerhouse, reported Reuters.
As pert latest IBN report, the Congress is now leading in 118 seats and set to form the government on its own. The question now is as to who will be the chief minister from the Congress. Union Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge and Siddaramaiah are being seen as the two frontrunners.
Top gainers in the Nifty were Tata Motors, HDFC, IndusInd Bank, Lupin and HUL, up over 1 percent each.
Laggards included Ranbaxy Labs, NMDC, Hero Motocorp, M&M and Bank of Baroda.
Upbeat mood in the market seemed to continue for the second day. The Sensex was up 53.43 points at 19942.38, and the Nifty gained 9.85 points at 6053.40.
HDFC, Tata Motors, ONGC, TCS and Hindalco were the top gainers in the Sensex. India's largest mortgage lender HDFC is likely to report 15 percent year-on-year growth in its fourth quarter (January - March) net profit at Rs 1,531 crore, according to a poll estimate by CNBC-TV18.
RPG Lifesciences soared 14.1 percent on the back of turnaround in fourth quarter earnings The pharma company reported a net profit of Rs 7.4 crore in Q4 as against a loss of Rs 5.69 crore Y-o-Y.
Dewan Housing gained around 5 percent on the back of good earnings in the last quarter. Net profits was up 116 percent to Rs 197 crore Y-o-Y while revenues grew 105 percent to Rs 1727 crore.
Brigade Enterprises soared 11 percent on the back of strong earnings, revenues up at Rs 300 crore while margins have improved to 23.9 percent. Its net profit jumped to Rs 28.3 crore.
Meanwhile, Jubilant Lifesciences slipped 5.8 percent after reporting a consolidated net loss of Rs 31 crore vs loss of Rs 63.5cr Y-o-Y. Margins have also dropped to 17 percent vs 20.2 percent Y-o-Y while net sales grew 15.5 percent to rs 1388 crore.
Oracle Financial Services fell 4.7 percent after the January-March profits dipped 47 percent Y-o-Y and slightly higher Q-o-Q to Rs 266.3 crore.
Hero MotoCorp, M&M and L&T were laggards in the Sensex.
Key equity benchmarks opened in green after the US equity markets rallied near their best levels on Tuesday. The Dow closed above 15,000 for the first time ever and European markets hit 52-week high on better- than-expected data from Germany. Japan's Nikkei hit a fresh five-year high today.
Foreign funds continued their buying spree in the Indian shares. Foreign institutional invetsor bought shares worth Rs 665 crore in cash on Tuesday, as per provisional data on the National Stock Exchange.
The Sensex was up 51 points at 19940 and the Nifty was up 12 points at 6055. About 525 shares advanced, 224 shares declined and 41 shares were unchanged.
Optimistic Ajay Srivastava, Ceo - Dimensions Consulting feels that Karnataka election results, which will be announced today will give some buoyancy to market. He expects the Indian equity market to give good returns in May and sees the Nifty touching the psychological 6100 mark anytime.
Key gainers in the Nifty were Lupin, DLF, Hindalco, Tata Motors and Jaiprakash Associates.
Laggards included Mahindra and Mahindra, Ranbaxy Labs, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel and Hero Motocorp.
Stocks in focus
Index heavyweights like HDFC, Lupin and Ranbaxy Labs will report their earnings today. In the midcap space, shares of SKS Microfinance, Corporation Bank, Piramal Life, Future Retail, Jubilant Industries, KEC International, Orient Paper, Talwalkar, Simplex Realty, Sudaram Clayton and Triveni Engineering will also announce their quarterly earnings.
Shares of Oracle Financial Services dropped more than 5 percent after promoters of the company announced plans to sell stake via offer for sale to meet shareholding norms of 75 percent. Oracle Global Mauritius holds 80.3% stake in the company.
UCO Bank disappointed the street with its quarterly earnings. The stock was down 3 percent after bank's net profit slumped by 75 percent to Rs 49.5 crore from Rs 253 crore a year earlier.
Dewan Housing Finance surged more than 6 percent as company's topline and bottomline shot up by more than 100 percent to Rs 1727 crore and Rs 197 crore respectively.
The Indian rupee opened with 8 paise gains at 54.05 per dollar on Wednesday as against previous day's closing of 54.13 per dollar. Himanshu Arora of Religare feels the rupee is likely to strengthen against the dollar on surging inflows.