BSE Sensex outperforms global peers in pre-election rally

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | Updated: Mar 8 2014, 16:17pm hrs
BSE SensexRising by 405.92 points or 1.89 per cent, the BSE Sensex hit a new high of 21,919.8 on Friday. Reuters
In a pre-election rally, the Indian markets have left their global peers behind in a sharp take-off over the last four trading sessions.

This comes even as the results of the General Elections are a couple of months away, in which market players expect a government with a clear majority and with complete focus on economic growth.

However, experts say that only a doubt of a pro-growth government not coming in can derail this momentum.

The benchmark Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange has, over the last four trading sessions, risen by 4.7 per cent following strong foreign institutional investor (FII) inflows amounting to over Rs 5,000 crore.

Rising by 405.92 points or 1.89 per cent, the Sensex hit a new high of 21,919.8 on Friday now at a striking distance from the psychological mark of 22,000.

However, while FIIs have been at the centre of this rally, domestic retail investors have stayed away from the markets.

With a gain of 4.2 per cent, only Nikkei 225 of Japan, in the last four sessions, has come closest to the Indian markets, which was the biggest gainer among major markets.

While Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose by 0.7 per cent, Shanghai Composite fell by 0.8 per cent in the same period. The European and the American markets, too, have lagged significantly.

It is a pre-election boom and there is bullishness around a pro-growth government coming in, said S Naren, CIO, ICICI Prudential AMC. The levels are likely to sustain, unless doubts start emerging on the prospects of formation of such a government.

There are others who voiced similar opinion. The major theme that is playing out right now is the Modi theme he moves the market, and it is looked at with optimism, said Raamdeo Agrawal, joint MD, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.

While some may feel

that the rally is a little pre-mature, experts feel that sectors that were trading cheap are bound to grow expensive on valuations when high growth rate comes back in the economy and that is what is happening now.

There has also been a sharp change in the sectors that have performed in the recent rally. While IT and healthcare saw a fall in their sectoral indices by 1.5 and 2.8 per cent, respectively, the banking, capital goods and oil and gas indices rose significantly.

The bankex rose by 11.4 per cent in the four trading sessions while capital goods and oil and gas indices jumped by 9.3 and 7.5 per cent, respectively.

One of the biggest challenges that an investor is facing right now is whether to buy cyclicals, or buy beaten down low-quality stocks, said Agrawal.

Meanwhile, the NSE 50-issue CNX Nifty also flared up by 125.50 points, or 1.96 per cent, to end at a new closing high of 6,526.65. It today hit a lifetime high of 6,537.80, crossing its previous record of 6,415.25 hit on December 9, 2013.