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Weekly Wrap: Sensex hits 2-year high, Nifty scales new peak

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

The Indian stock market witnessed some hectic buying during the truncated week ended 17 March 2017, with the landslide victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections significantly lifting investor sentiment. The BJP won handsomely in Uttarakhand and fared exceptionally well in Goa and Manipur as well.The BJP’s stellar show in the assembly elections raised hopes that the government will speed up reforms. Also, the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax now appears almost certain from July following the GST Council clearing all legislations required for launching the new tax regime.The mood was so upbeat that stocks from across various sectors rose sharply, with quite a few of them registering their all-time or 52-week highs. The BSE benchmark Sensex registered its best close in over two years and the Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange recorded its highest ever close on Friday (March 17, 2017). The week had just four sessions as the market was closed on Monday (March 13) for Holi.The Sensex ended up 702.76 points or 2.42% at 29,648.99. The Nifty 50 ended at 9160.05, gaining 225.50 points or 2.52%. While the Sensex scaled a high of 29,824.62 on Friday, its best since 29 January 2015, the Nifty hit a new all-time high of 9218.40.Scores of midcap and smallcap stocks ended the week with handsome gains. The BSE Midcap index gained nearly 4% and the Smallcap index ended about 3% up.Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (8.5%) rallied sharply and topped the Sensex gainers list. Housing finance stock HDFC gained 5.7%. ITC, which had a bright spell on Friday as brokerages raised the rating for the stock as the GST is expected to be revenue-neutral for cigarette and tobacco companies, ended the week with a gain of nearly 7%.Asian Paints gained 4.7%. Hindustan Unilever and ICICI Bank ended higher by 3.2% and 3.75%, respectively. Wipro gained 3.5% and Larsen & Toubro ended nearly 4% up, with the company’s strong order book attracting investors to the counter.  Cipla, Hero Motocorp, Bajaj Auto, Infosys and HDFC Bank gained 1% – 2%.Sun Pharmaceutical Industries gained nearly 3.5%, buoyed by an announcement from the company that the USFDA will soon lift the import alert imposed on the company’s Mohali facility. Lupin and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories posted modest gains.State Bank of India (up 0.8%) announced that its board has approved raising of equity capital upto Rs 15,000 crore during the current fiscal, through various modes.Among the losers, Coal India declined as much as 8.4%. Bharti Airtel declined 4.9%. The telco said that it has decided not to monetize a controlling stake in Bharti Infratel for now. Mahindra & Mahindra edged down marginallly, while GAIL India and ONGC ended modestly lower. Tata Consultancy Services edged down slightly.Music Broadcast made a strong debut last week, following a highly successful IPO.In economic news, data released by the government after trading hours on 10 March 2017 showed that India’s industrial production recovered at a faster than expected pace in January 2017, climbing 2.7% year-on-year, reversing a revised 0.1% fall in December 2016. Manufacturing output was up 2.3% in the month, while mining output climbed 5.3%. Electricity output increased 3.9%.Data released by the government on Tuesday (March 14) showed India’s wholesale price inflation to have accelerated at a faster-than-expected pace in February, climbing 6.55% (y-o-y), following a 5.25% increase in January.Another data released on Tuesday showed India’s retail price inflation to have accelerated to 3.65% in February 2017, from 3.17% a month earlier.Data released by the government on Wednesday showed that India’s exports rose 17.48% at $24.49 billion in February 2017 over February 2016. Imports were up 21.76% to $33.38 billion in February 2017 over February 2016. On the global economic front, the US Federal Reserve hiked interest rate by 25 basis points last week, in line with expectations. The fed projected two more increases this year and said that it would raise the benchmark federal-funds rate to a range between 0.75% and 1%.

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