BSE Sensex, NSE Nifty recede after touching lifetime highs, Maruti Suzuki shares soar

Written by Agencies | Mumbai | Updated: Mar 19 2014, 20:27pm hrs
BSE SensexWhile BSE Sensex traded for some time across the 22K-pt mark, NSE Nifty hit an all-time high today. (AP)
The benchmark BSE Sensex today hit a new lifetime high of 22,040.72 but pared gains on profit-booking to close at 21,832.61, amid cautious trading ahead of a US Federal Reserve policy meeting.

After climbing to all-time intra-day high during the session, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended higher by just 22.81 points, or 0.10 per cent, at 21,832.61 -- its second straight day of gains.

Maruti Suzuki, which gained nearly 8 per cent after the company decided to seek minority shareholders' nod for the controversial Gujarat plant, led the 17 BSE Sensex gainers.

Other major supporters were Bajaj Auto, Coal India, Dr Reddy's Lab., Reliance Industries, ITC, SBI and ONGC.

Tata Motors led the 13 Sensex losers.

The 50-share NSE index Nifty also surged to mark a new lifetime high of 6,574.95, before closing at 6,516.65, a rise of 12.45 points, or 0.19 per cent.

"Indices opened on a bullish note on account of positive global cues and also as Ukraine tensions seemed to ease in the near-term. However, after initial rally, they witnessed selling pressure and pared most of day's gains," said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio.

A firming trend in the Asian region and foreign institutional investors remaining net buyers in Indian equities for the third straight week, supported Indian stocks.

American brokerage Goldman Sachs also upgraded India to "overweight" on reducing external vulnerabilities and said it expects the NSE Nifty to touch 7,600 level this year.

Sectorally, the BSE FMCG sector index today gained the most by rising 1.84 per cent, followed by Power sector index (up 1.27 per cent), Consumer Durable index (0.89 per cent) and Oil & Gas index (0.87 per cent).

IT, Capital goods and Realty scrips ended lower.

Indian shares hit record highs as domestic-focused firms rally

(Reuters) Indian shares rallied to record highs on Tuesday as strong buying by foreign investors continued to bolster blue chips in the lead-up to general elections, especially companies more geared towards the domestic economy such as HDFC Bank.

Still, a bout of profit-taking erased most of the gains from earlier in the session as some technical indicators such as the relative strength index indicating overbought conditions.

A powerful rally over the past month and a half - with the NSE index up 7 percent since the end of January - has reflected hopes that the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, perceived by markets to be more business friendly, would win elections that kick off next month, analysts have said.

A slight expansion in industrial output and a further cooling in stubbornly high inflation have also boosted investor sentiment, offsetting concerns about global risk factors, such as political tensions in Ukraine and China's economic slowdown, which have been weighing on stock markets elsewhere.

Goldman Sachs upgraded Indian shares to "overweight" from "marketweight", citing improving economic fundamentals and expectations that corporate earnings had bottomed out, recommending investors favour cyclical over defensive shares.

"Broadly it's all building up for elections, with (foreign) institutions continuously buying and creating positions," said Hansal Thacker, a director at Lalkar Securities.

"As the election nears, you will see more volatility in the markets. Profit-taking is expected at this level, but the undercurrent is firm."

India's broader NSE ended up 0.19 percent after earlier gaining as much as 1.1 percent to hit a record high of 6,574.95 points, surpassing its previous record high hit on March 11.

The benchmark BSE index added 0.1 percent after earlier rising as much as 1.1 percent to an all-time high of 22,040.72 points, above its previous record hit on March 10.

Overseas funds were net buyers of $160.6 million worth of shares on Friday, marking their 20th net buying session in the previous 21, for a net total of $1.6 billion, exchange and regulatory data shows. Markets were closed on Monday for a public holiday.

Banks led gains on Tuesday, with Yes Bank Ltd rising 2.2 percent and State Bank of India advancing 2.9 percent.

Among other domestic-oriented blue chips, power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals gained 0.6 percent, while cigarette maker ITC rose 2.5 percent.

Shares of Maruti Suzuki Ltd surged as much as 9.8 percent to a record high after it said on Saturday that it would seek minority shareholder approval for a plan to outsource production at a new factory to Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp . Shares closed 7.46 percent higher.

Shares in AstraZeneca Pharma gained 2.6 percent after the company said its board had approved a proposal from promoter AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals AB, Sweden, to delist the company from India.

Still, investors also booked profits in some recent outperformers. ICICI Bank fell 0.9 percent after earlier gaining as much as 1.3 percent, though shares in India's biggest private sector lender are still up 15.4 percent so far this month.

Software service exporters were among the losers, continuing a trend in which they have fallen out of favour compared with domestic-focused shares. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd fell 0.8 percent, bringing its losses so far this month to 6.8 percent.

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