Markets scale new lifetime highs during short trading session

After three days of more than 100 point gains on the Sensex, a firm trend was par for the course. The only factor which could have affected the sentiment was weakness in the US markets overnight. As the US indices closed with gains for the seventh straight day and no Asian markets to look forward to today, the indices posted new lifetime highs.

The three-hour weekend trading session was conducted to test systems at the NSE and trader participation was not as low as expected. With the markets scaling new highs, not many wanted to miss out on the action.

The indices opened firm and the Nifty managed to go past its early October highs. The index had failed to cross the all-time high yesterday, though it nearly touched that level. The Nifty posted a new all-time high of 2686.5 today.

The Sensex went past the 8900 mark in early trades and went on to set a new lifetime high of 8912. Lack of heavy buying support pulled down the Sensex below the 8900 mark later in the day. The index maintained a sideways trend for the rest of the session.

Engineering and capital goods stocks were once gain in the forefront. Siemens, which had appreciated more than 10 per cent yesterday, powered ahead today as well. The stock closed with gains of more than 5 per cent.

BHEL, ABB and L&T also continued their up trend from yesterday and closed with gains of close to 4 per cent each.

VSNL regained its momentum of pre-October days and added over 5 per cent today. Bharti was another winner from the telecom space, closing more than 2 per cent higher.

ONGC saw a late surge which helped the Nifty to outperform the Sensex. The stock recovered from yesterday's slumber and added over a per cent.

Pharma stocks were once again led by Glaxo, which gained nearly 6 per cent. Ranbaxy followed with gains of close to 2.5 per cent. Dr. Reddy also closed higher.

Power utility stocks Tata Power and Reliance Energy joined the rally today. The former added close to 3 per cent while the latter closed higher by over 2.5 per cent.

M&M and Jet Airways were the other gainers among index stocks, closing more than 2 per cent higher.

Private banking stocks HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank were among the losers, closing nearly a per cent each lower.

Yesterday's big gainers HLL and ITC gave up half a per cent each on profit booking.

Auto stocks were also weak today. Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors and Maruti closed lower.

Sensex closed at 8889, a gain of 36 points, and the Nifty at 2683, higher by 19 points. Nifty December futures closed at a premium of 7 points to the spot index.

Glaxo, VSNL and ABB were the major gainers among Nifty stocks while HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and HLL were the major losers.

Mid-Cap Action

Mid-caps are finally showing sure signs of having regained the momentum. The mid-cap index had mostly underperformed the frontline indices throughout this month's rally. Today the index managed to outperform the larger indices. Most of the stocks which had seen heavy buying yesterday, maintained their strength today as well. The CNX Mid-Cap index gained 38 points and closed the day at 3845.

Momentum stocks like SRF and Titan continued to run up today. SRF added over 4 per cent while Titan gained over 2 per cent.

Stocks like Pantaloon and Praj Industries which have high visibility also saw significant gains. Provogue continued to rally higher today as well and added another 10 per cent.

The rally in large engineering stocks rubbed off on the mid-cap engineering stocks like Crompton Greaves and Cummins.

Infomedia India, PBA Infrastructure and Paradyne Info were among the significant mid-cap gainers on the NSE.

Shriram Transport Finance, Geodesic Info and Sandesh were among the significant mid-cap losers on the NSE.

*Disclaimer:The author may have positions in some of the stocks specifically mentioned above at the time of writing this article. This analysis / report is only for the purpose of information and is not an investment advice. Readers are advised to consult a certified financial advisor before taking any investment decisions. While efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in the content the author or publisher shall not be held responsible for any loss caused to any person whatsoever.