Equity benchmarks attained fresh lifetime highs on Friday as IT, pharma and energy counters saw brisk buying in tandem with a bullish trend overseas. After touching a record intra-day peak of 52,641.53, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 174.29 points or 0.33% up at its new closing high of 52,474.76. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty advanced 61.60 points or 0.39% to its lifetime peak of 15,799.35.
Dr Reddy's was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, spurting 3.03%, followed by PowerGrid, TCS, Infosys, HCL Tech, Reliance Industries and Tech Mahindra. On the other hand, L&T, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finserv, Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and ITC were among the laggards, dropping up to 1.07%.
During the week, the Sensex jumped 374.71 points or 0.71%, while the Nifty advanced 129.10 points or 0.82%. "Tracking cues from positive global markets, Indian equities remained in the green zone in today's session. US CPI data, released on Thursday, eased inflation worries as the current surge is temporary and insufficient for the Fed to taper its bond-buying policy.
"Global sentiments were further boosted with European Central Bank raising its growth estimates and pledging its liquidity support," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services. Paras Bothra, President of Equity Research at Ashika Group, said domestic markets remained firm on expectations of improving consumer and business confidence amid phased easing of lockdowns and declining new COVID-19 cases. "The government also does not expect the economic impact of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic to be as severe as the first," he added.
Sector-wise, BSE metal, IT, energy, tech, basic materials and healthcare indices rallied up to 3.21%, while realty, capital goods, telecom, consumer durables and FMCG nursed losses. Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices rose up to 0.40%.
World markets remained on a firm footing after the S&P 500 surged to a record high despite a spike in consumer prices in the US. Dovish comments from ECB also buoyed investor sentiment. Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Tokyo were in the red, while Hong Kong and Seoul ended on a positive note. Equities in Europe were largely trading with gains in mid-session deals.
International oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.22% higher at USD 72.68 per barrel. The rupee slipped 1 paisa to end at 73.07 against the US dollar amid strengthening of the American currency against key rivals and rising crude oil prices. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net buyers in the capital markets, as they purchased shares worth Rs 1,329.70 crore on Thursday, as per provisional data.
The daily COVID-19 count in India remained below the one-lakh mark for the fourth consecutive day with the country reporting 91,702 fresh cases, while the daily positivity rate dropped to 4.49%, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.