Finally, the Indian equity market is back to a fresh life-time high on Tuesday as indices continued their bull-run for the fourth straight trading session. Sentiment remained upbeat following a host of positive measures announced in the Union Budget last week. Fund flows too remain strong, with the foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) turning net buyers of shares worth Rs 424.79 crore in the cash segment, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchasing shares worth Rs 180.35 crore on Monday.
Commenting on the Nifty milestone, Amar Ambani, Head of Research at IIFL said, "The Nifty has had a good 2000 points run since the Lok Sabha elections results. The positive momentum which eluded the February series appears to be back. The trading band is set to shift to remain between the range of 8900 to 9100 for a while. Banks and Auto ancillaries will outperform the main indices in the near term. "
Macro economic news may not be so upbeat but market seems to be discounting the same for now. India's eight core infrastructure industries growth declined to 1.8 per cent in January 2015 when compared to 3.7 per cent in the same month last year. On the other hand, fiscal deficit breached the budget estimate by 107 per cent as it rose to Rs 5.68 lakh crore in April-January period. The government may have to fight hard to achieve its target of 4.1 per cent of the GDP for the financial year 2014-15.
Today's rally was driven by three index heavyweights viz - Reliance Industries, TCS and HDFC. The trio collectively contributed 184 points to the BSE Sensex and 42 points to the NSE Nifty.
The NSE Nifty was in focus today, as the index hovered around the 9,000-mark. Unabated buying in the late noon deals helped the index break the 9,000-barrier, and touch a high of 9,008. The Nifty finally ended with a gain of 40 points at 8,996.
The BSE benchmark index, the Sensex, opened 41-odd points higher at 29,500, but soon shed 150-odd points to touch a low of 29,365 in early morning trade. The BSE index, thereafter, bounced back into the positive zone and exhibited choppy movement for most part of the morning session.
Bulls took control, thereafter, and the BSE index marched to higher levels in the second half of the trading session. The Sensex touched a high of 29,637 - up 272 points from the day's low, and eventually settled 135 points higher at 29,594.
In the process, the BSE index has now rallied almost 3 per cent (847 points) in the last four trading sessions, and the Nifty has gained 3.6 per cent (312 points) in the same period.
The broader market out-performed the key benchmark indices today. The CNX Midcap index spurted 0.7 per cent to 13,416, and the Smallcap index added a per cent to 5,837.
The breadth too was fairly positive - out of 1,696 stocks traded on the NSE, 925 advanced and 554 declined today.
The India VIX (Volatility) index declined 2.2 per cent to 15.4925.
Among sectors - the CNX Energy index soared 1.7 per cent to 8,861, and the IT index surged 1.5 per cent to 12,860. The Pharma index was up a per cent at 12,144. The Auto index, however, slipped a per cent to 8,829.
Reliance Industries was one of the star performers today. The stock logged its highest single-day gain since 7 March, 2014, up 4.2 per cent at Rs. 900. Reportedly, LIC yesterday acquired additional 2.09 per cent equity stake or 6.78 crore shares of the company. The counter today saw heavy volume of around 4.7 million shares on the NSE. A foreign brokerage had also come out with an aggressive target of Rs. 1250 for the stock.
TCS and HDFC, the other two major index movers, gained 4.3 per cent and 2.2 per cent each at Rs. 2,785 and Rs. 1,370, respectively.
Bank of Baroda logged strong gains towards the end; the stock finished 3.3 per cent higher at Rs. 189.
Jindal Steel and Punjab National Bank also rallied nearly 3 per cent each to Rs. 194 and Rs. 170, respectively.
Pharma shares also logged steady gains today - Cipla surged 2.5 per cent to Rs. 735. Sun Pharma gained 1.8 per cent at Rs. 942 on reports that the company has acquired GSK's Opiates business in Australia. Dr.Reddy's and Lupin pared gains towards the close, and ended on a flat note at Rs. 3,395 and Rs. 1,803, respectively.
Sesa Sterlite jumped nearly 2 per cent to Rs. 222. Bajaj Auto, Tech Mahindra, Zee Entertainment and Asian Paints advanced around 1.2 per cent each.
Tata Power, Wipro, Hindalco and IDFC were the other prominent gainers in the Nifty-50.
On the flip side, Mahindra & Mahindra plunged 3.7 per cent to Rs. 1,230 as sales dropped 10 per cent in February 2015. Tata Motors too was down 2 per cent at Rs. 573.
Coal India dropped nearly 4 per cent to Rs. 379 as the stock got adjusted for the Rs. 20.70 interim dividend today.
Axis Bank, DLF and Ambuja Cements shed 2 per cent each at Rs. 633, Rs. 152 and Rs. 280, respectively, on account of profit-taking.
In the broader market, Max India ended higher for the third straight day after the government today notified the 49 per cent FDI limit in the insurance sector. The stock soared to a high of Rs. 485, but finally ended 0.8 per cent higher at Rs. 474. Reliance Capital gains 3.5 per cent at Rs. 477. Bajaj Finserve advanced 2.3 per cent to Rs. 1,485 and Aditya Birla Nuvo added a per cent to Rs. 1,762.
Adani group shares were limelight on reports that China and South Korea are keen to buy coal from the Adani Group's $ 16-billion Carmichael coal mine project-Project located in the Galilee basin in Queensland. Adani Power has soared almost 2.8 per cent at Rs. 56.85. Adani Ports SEZ and Adani Enterprises were up over a per cent each at Rs. 336 and Rs. 718, respectively.
TVS Motor Company surged 7.5 per cent to Rs. 292 after the company's total sales rose by 15 per cent to 195,509 units in February 2015 when compared with 170,293 units in February 2014. Exports too were up 35 per cent at 38,725 units.
Hotel Leelaventure soared over 7 per cent to Rs. 23.10 after the company announced its plans to sell two of its Hotels in Goa and Chennai.
Gayatri Projects rallied 5.5 per cent to Rs. 168 after the company's joint-venture based, first power plant, Thermal Powertech Corporation India (TPCIL) - a joint venture between the company and SembCorp, successfully started commercial operation with the completion of its first 660-megawatt unit.
Jubilant Life Sciences zoomed to a high of Rs. 175, but eventually ended 1.5 per cent higher at Rs. 162. The company has received Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) final approval from the US Foods and Drug Administration (US FDA) from Montelukast Sodium Chewable Tablets, 4 mg and 5 mg used for the treatment of asthma.
Sanghvi Movers was up 5.5 per cent at Rs. 275 on the back of fund buying at the counter. SBI Mutual Fund reportedly bought 965,313 equity shares representing 2.22 per cent equity stake of the company through open market purchase for Rs. 250 per share on the NSE.
Murudeshwar Ceramics was locked at the 20 per cent upper circuit at Rs. 25.55 on the back of heavy volume at the counter. The volume at the counter jumped by a whopping 63.5-times, with trades of around 343,000 shares when compared with the two-week daily average volume of around 5,400-odd shares on the BSE. There were pending buy orders for over 60,000 shares at the closing bell.
Action Construction Equipment (ACE) skyrocketed by 13.5 per cent to Rs. 46.25 on the back of 9.5-times jump in volume. The counter witnessed trades of around 1.20 million shares as against the two-week daily average volume of around 125,000 shares on the BSE.
A total of 75 stocks registered a fresh 52-week high today. Prominent among these were Adani Enterprises, Ajanta Pharma, Ashok Leyland, BPCL, Cipla, Dish TV, Eveready Industries, FAG Bearings, Geometric, Grasim, Hexaware Technologies, IDFC, HPCL, ITD Cementation, Kajaria Ceramics, KEI Industries, KRBL, Logix Microsystems, Lokesh Machines, Larsen & Toubro, Lupin, Madhucon Projects, MBL Infrastructure, United Spirits, Mindtree, NBCC, NCC, Prism Cement, Rallis India, Ramco Systems, Religare Enterprises, Sanghvi Movers, Siemens, Take Solutions, Tata Chemicals, Tata Elxsi, Timken India, Uniply Industries, WABCO India, Wipro and Wockhardt.
Arvind Remedies, Educomp Solutions, Ess Dee Aluminium, GEI Industrial Systems, Globus Spirits, Reliance Communications, Selan Exploration, Tilaknagar Industries, Uttam Value Steels and Venky's (India) were among a list of 16 stocks to record a fresh 52-week low.