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Investors richer by Rs 2.9 lakh crore as bulls return to D-Street ahead of long weekend

NEW DELHI: Metals shone and financial stocks were under spotlight lifting benchmark higher on Thursday ahead of a long weekend. A huge infrastructure spending plan in the US, and superb GST numbers and capital infusion by the government back home boosted the morale of Dalal Street investors.

Strong buying interest was witnessed in bank, metal and tyre stocks in afternoon trade, as record GST collections in March perked up the market sentiment. The rollout of Covid-19 vaccines for those above 45 years of age also lifted the mood in the market, said analysts.

The 30-share pack Sensex advanced 520.68 points or 1.05 per cent to close at 50,029.83. Its broader peer NSE Nifty climbed 176.65 points or 1.20 per cent to settle at 14,867.35.

“The rally in the domestic market was led by positive cues from global peers, strong buying in metal stocks and recovery in the banking sector. Metal stocks outshone other sectoral indices on reports of a possible price hike. PSU banks were also in focus today as the government announced capital infusion of Rs 14,500 crore in four PSU banks,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Investors made Rs 2.94 lakh crore in the rally as the market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies shot up to Rs 207.15 lakh crore.

Market at a glance

  • Steel stocks surge as MS upgrades outlook; Nifty metal up 5%
  • NIIT rallies 14% ahead of proposed share buyback from April 12
  • PSU bank stocks rallied up to 6% after government infuses capital
  • Volatility gauge India VIX eases 3% as nervousness wanes
  • FMCG stocks come under selling pressure; HUL worst hit

Among the bluechip stocks, JSW Steel was the top gainer, rising 7.91 per cent. Hindalco, Tata Steel, Adani Ports, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, BPCL, ICICI Bank and UltraTech Cement were other gainers.

“The positive bias is expected to continue, however, rising Covid-19 cases would remain a key concern. Investors’ focus now will shift to earnings announcements and management commentary.”

— Ajit Mishra, Religare Broking

HUL was the top loser in the Nifty pack, falling 1.34 per cent. Nestle India, HDFC Life Insurance, Divi’s Labs, TCS, Titan, Britannia, Tech Mahindra and HDFC Bank were other stocks that ended in the red.

Broader market indices ended with gains, outperforming their headline peers. Nifty Smallcap added 2.09 per cent and Nifty Midcap rose 1.79 per cent. Nifty 500 — the broadest index on NSE — advanced 1.34 per cent.

Vodafone Idea, Jindal Steel, SRF, Graphite India, National Aluminium and Mishra Dhatu Nigam were top gainers from the mid- and small-cap indices, climbing in the range of 6-10 per cent.

APl Apollo, Quess Corps, Amber Enterprises, Coromandel International, Cummins India and Dixon Technologies were major losers from the broader market space, falling in the range of 1-6 per cent.

Barring Nifty FMCG, which fell 0.16 per cent, all sectors on NSE ended in the green. Nifty Metal soared 5.33 per cent. Nifty PSU Bank and Nifty Media gained over 2 per cent each. The auto and private bank indices were other major gainers.

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