Global cues, fund inflows see equity indices rising for 5th week (Market Review)

Mumbai, Jan 6 :  Extending gains for the fifth consecutive week, the key Indian equity indices closed the first week of the New Year at fresh highs, riding on positive global cues, along with inflow of foreign funds and healthy domestic macro-data.

Although the benchmark indices started off the week on a slightly weak note, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) closed trade at a fresh level of 34,153.85 points on the last trading day (January 5).

It rose by 97.02 points or 0.28 per cent from its previous week’s close at 34,056.83 points.

The Sensex also touched a new intra-day high of 34,188.85 points.

On the same day, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) scaled a record intra-day high of 10,566.10 points.

The index closed trade at a fresh high of 10,558.85 points, up 28.15 points or 0.26 per cent from its previous week’s close at 10,530.70 points.

“The week gone by saw the Nifty surging higher. It was the fifth consecutive week of gains for the Nifty,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“Sectorally, the top gainers were the metal, infra, media and pharma indices. The top losers were the auto, IT and PSU bank indices,” he added.

On the currency front, the rupee strengthened by 50 paise to close at 63.37 against the US dollar from its last week’s close at 63.87.

“Indian equity benchmarks rose to record highs with the NSE Nifty 50 Index closing above the 10,555 level for first time. Strong global cues and impressive domestic economic data boosted market sentiments,” Arpit Jain, AVP at Arihant Capital Markets, told IANS.

“Moreover, FIIs (foreign institutional investors) were net buyers of nearly Rs 10 billion in the last three days, which had a positive sentiment in the market. Monthly auto sales numbers and December’s manufacturing data signalling revival also helped,” Jain added.

Data released early during the week showed that robust demand, along with low base effect and end of season discount offers, led to automobile manufacturers reporting healthy sales figures for December, 2017.

On the investment front, provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that FIIs turned net buyers and purchased scrips worth Rs 1,738.44 crore.

However, domestic investors divested funds worth Rs 936.44 crore during the week.

Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) revealed that foreign portfolio investors invested in equities worth Rs 1,618.27 crore, or $254.14 million, from January 1-5.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “Despite positive December auto sales numbers, market started-off year on a weak note. Market was contemplating a risk posed by the likely populist agenda which may hurt the fiscal consolidation target earlier set by the government.”

“But by the last two trading days, metals outperformed on expectation of strong earnings growth, supported by firm global base metal prices whereas auto stocks witnessed profit booking after the recent run,” he said.

Nair added that favorable global cues due to strong US jobs data and improvement in domestic services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data for December helped the market move out of the subdued phase of trading.

Data released during market hours on Thursday revealed that the seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Services PMI Business Activity Index registered an overall increase from 48.5 in November to 50.9 in December on the back of new orders and easing of inflationary pressures.

The top weekly Sensex gainers were: Coal India (up 5.99 per cent at Rs 278.75); Yes Bank (up 5.71 per cent at Rs 333.05); Tata Steel (up 5.17 per cent at Rs 770.30); Adani Ports (up 4.89 per cent at Rs 424.45); and Larsen and Toubro (up 4.58 per cent at Rs 1,314.50).

The losers were: Maruti Suzuki (down 3.06 per cent at Rs 9,434.05); Infosys (down 2.62 per cent at Rs 1,012.10); Bajaj Auto (down 1.37 per cent at Rs 3,277.55); Hero MotoCorp (down 1.24 per cent at Rs 3,739.30); and Wipro (down 1.16 per cent at Rs 309.75).