Benchmark indices exhibited a healthy trading session on Thursday as firm global cues, a consistent fall in daily Covid-19 cases, and a stronger rupee kept market mood upbeat. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex stayed within a band of 331 points while the Nifty see-sawed between 15,705 and 15,611 levels.
The gains came even as activity in India’s dominant services industry contracted in May for the first time in eight months. The Nikkei/IHS Markit Services PMI fell to a nine-month low of 46.4 in May from 54.0 in April, sliding below the 50-level that separates growth from contraction, for the first time in eight months.
The BSE barometer settled at a fresh closing peak of 52,232 levels, up 383 points or 0.74 per cent with the index breadth firmly tilting towards gainers. Only 9 of the 30 constituents ended the day in the red including IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Auto, M&M, Dr Reddy’s Labs, and HCL Tech.
On the upside, Titan Company clocked a massive rally of 7 per cent to end the day as the top gainer, followed by ONGC, Kotak Bank, Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, and L&T.
On the NSE, the 50-share index added 114 points, or 0.73 per cent, to settle the day at 15,690.
Investors pulled out funds from Pharma stocks as the index remained the only loser on the NSE, down 0.26 per cent. On the upside, the Nifty Realty index jumped nearly 4 per cent, where Oberoi Realty, Phoenix Mill and Prestige Estates surged between 6 per cent and 10 per cent on the NSE while Indiabulls Real Estate, Sunteck Realty, Sobha, DLF and Godrej Properties gained in the range of 2 per cent to 5 per cent.
The broader markets, meanwhile, outperformed the headline indices and hit new record highs for a second consecutive day. The BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices ended 1 per cent higher each after hitting a record peak of 22,395 and 24,138 levels, respectively.
Among key buzzing stocks, Shares of Titan Company hit a record high of Rs 1,702 after they rallied 7 per cent on the BSE in intra-day trade today amid expectation of a strong recovery, due to pent up demand and market share gains. With a sharp surge in the market price of Titan Company, its market capitalisation touched Rs 1.5 trillion-milestone.
>> That apart, Wipro on Thursday touched Rs 3 trillion market capitalisation-mark for the first time, becoming the third Indian IT firm to achieve the milestone after Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys.
Wipro’s stock hit Rs 550 in intra-day trade, rising 1.27 per cent, taking the market capitalisation to Rs 3.01 trillion.
>> Shares of sugar companies were in focus too after the government brought forward the target date for achieving 20 per cent ethanol-blending with petrol by two years to 2023 to help reduce India’s dependence on costly oil imports.
Individually, Balrampur Chini Mills rallied up to 8 per cent in intra-day trade today while Triveni Engineering & Industries, EID Parry (India), Dhampur Sugar Mills, Dwarikesh Sugar Industries and Avadh Sugar & Energy surged in the range of 3 per cent to 4 per cent.
>> Meanwhile, Muthoot Finance shares jumped 8 per cent to hit a new high of Rs 1,537 on the BSE in intra-day trade today after the firm reported a strong set of numbers for the quarter ended March (Q4FY21) with healthy business growth and improved asset quality. With today’s gain, the scrip has surged 17 per cent in two trading days.
>> Lastly, shares of Reliance Industries (RIL) continued their northward movement to hit an over seven-month high of Rs 2,250, up 2.2 per cent, on the BSE in intra-day trade on Thursday amid expectations of a good operational performance going forward. The stock was quoting higher for the seventh straight trading day and has rallied 15 per cent during this period.
Asian shares were a touch below a recent three-month top on Thursday with China a tad weaker as investors weighed inflation concerns ahead of key US economic data while oil prices rose to near one and a half year highs.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3 per cent, Japan’s Nikkei added 0.4 per cent, and Australian shares climbed to all-time highs.
In Europe, shares were mildly lower as US stock futures indicated a flat-to-negative start on Wall Street later today. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.2 per cent, and the UK’s FTSE 100 eased 0.7 per cent.