Despite a drop of as much as 0.8% from the day’s high following news of a controversial press meet held by four senior judges of the Supreme Court to highlight their discomfort with the internal functioning of the apex body, the benchmark indices recovered and ended the session at a fresh record high. The Sensex ended the session up 88.90 points at 34,592.39, a rise of 0.26%, while Nifty rose by 30.05 points or 0.28% to end the session at 10,681.25. Market participants attributed continuous buying by domestic institutional investors and expectation of recovery in this earnings season for this rise. Domestic institutions bought shares worth Rs 1,446 crore in the past ten sessions. The Sensex fell by more than 0.8% from the day’s high after four judges of the Supreme Court raised questions on the functioning of the apex court. Following this, though, the market staged a sharp recovery as bargain buying into the correction emerged. Market participants attributed this to a belief among investors that the issue of the Supreme Court judges would get amicably resolved.
However, experts warned that market participants are observing the situation to see how it evolves, and if their expectation of a quick resolution is not met, the tide could turn. “Right now investors are watching this they are not reacting to this. Only if this event snowballs into something major will investments get impacted. But right now they are in a watchful mood. That’s why you saw the markets recover the entire losses,” said a market participant on the condition of anonymity. Most market experts refused to go on record with their views as the subject pertained to the judicial system in the country. “Such incidents will obviously shake the confidence of investors in the Indian Judiciary. Let’s hope that the matter gets resolved amicably at the earliest, after taking cognisance of all concerned. It may also be a good idea if the honourable CJI comes out openly and addresses apprehensions of all including initiating steps to the satisfaction of all concerned,” said a securities lawyer requesting anonymity.
Eleven of the 19 sectoral indexes of BSE advanced. Banking, energy and industrial stocks led the rise. ICICI Bank, Maruti, and ONGC were the best-performing stocks in the Sensex and rose by 2.63%,1.27%, and 1.26% respectively. TCS slipped 0.56 per cent after the IT major on Thursday reported a 3.6% drop in net profit for the December quarter at Rs 6,531 crore. However, Infosys, which announced its results after market hours on Friday, posted a 38.3% growth in consolidated net profit to Rs 5,129 crore for the October- December quarter of 2017-18. Other prominent gainers included ONGC, RIL, Dr Reddy’s, HDFC Ltd, L&T, IndusInd Bank, Tata Motors and M&M, rising by up to 1.26%. The benchmark indices have hit record highs in five out of the ten sessions this year. The indices have also posted gains continuously in the past five weeks. The Sensex rose 0.28% in the week ended January 12.
Sector-wise, the upmove was driven by oil and gas (up 0.69%), banking (0.50%), capital goods (0.48%), metal (0.45%), auto (0.28%), teck (0.14%), infrastructure (0.14%) and IT (0.03%). The BSE small-cap index inched up 0.05% as investors continued their buying activity but the mid-cap index ended 0.17% lower.
Trading was brisk across global markets. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.94% while Shanghai Composite gained 0.10%. However, Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.24%. European markets were higher in early trade, with Frankfurt’s DAX rising 0.16% and Paris CAC 40 up 0.3%. London’s FTSE too rose 0.04%.
With inputs from PTI