Market

Dalal Street gets a boost from financial stocks, Sensex ends nearly 2% higher

MUMBAI: India’s stock indices gained nearly 2% on Friday snapping the two-session losing streak, helped by a rebound in financial stocks after SBI’s fourth quarter results surprised markets. The drop in fresh Covid-19 cases also aided sentiment.

The Sensex climbed 975.62 points, or 1.97%, to close at 50,540.48, while the Nifty closed up 269.25 points, or 1.8%, at 15,175.30. SBI jumped 4.3% after India’s largest lender by assets reported an 80% year-on-year rise in net profit to Rs 6,450.75 crore for the quarter ended March. The BSE Bankex advanced 3.7%.

rose 4.5%, emerging as the biggest Sensex gainer. , ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Housing Development Finance Corporation and were the other top gainers, up 3-4%.

Analysts expect the Sensex and Nifty to touch new records soon.

“I am expecting markets to touch new lifetime highs. Around 15700 is now possible, All the negative news flows from risk to US interest rates, bond yield and more recently China’s announcement on metal prices are priced in,” said Rohit Srivastava, founder, Indiacharts.com. “Value stocks are being accumulated. With Covid cases easing, we are seeing large caps also participating. Financials have started to perform and we are liking public sector banks as they fall in the value segment,” said Srivastava.

The Sensex and Nifty are about 4% away from their all-time highs hit in mid-February.

The Sensex had touched an all-time high of 52,516.76 on February 16 and the Nifty had touched a high of 15,431.75 on the same day. Nifty is up 7% from the low of 14151.40 it had hit during the April 22 session. The Nifty has gained 3.4% this week and Sensex 3.7%.

“We are seeing that cases are stabilising and vaccinations have started to roll out. At least we can see testing of the highs,” said Andrew Holland, CEO, Avendus Capital Alternate Strategies.

India VIX fell 3% to 19.08 on Friday, suggesting lower risk perception in the market in the near term. Foreign portfolio investors bought shares worth ₹510 crore and domestic institutional investors picked up shares worth ₹640 crore.

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