Coming out of the consolidation phase the Indian equity markets finally showed some upside vigor with benchmark indices garnering gains of around half a percent. Though the mood in the morning was somber lacking any cues from the US markets which remained closed due to Independence Day holiday and the soft trading in the regional peers, the Sensex closed 76 points higher at 17,538.67 and the NSE benchmark went up 24.75 points to 5,327.30. This is the highest close in more than 13 weeks, as Reliance Industries advanced on hopes for better refining margins in the second half of 2012.
Provogue, Trent and Shoppers Stop surged 7-10% while Pantaloon Retail rose 3% after sources say Congress has ruled states to go ahead with FDI in retail.
DFC, Cipla, ICICI Bank, Maruti, HCL Tech, ITC, Power Grid, Tata Motors, HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank were the notable gainers on the Sensex and the Nifty today.
Asian Paints, ONGC, Bajaj Auto, Sterlite Industries, Coal India, DLF, Bharti Airtel, Sesa Goa and Gail were among the losers on the Nifty.
On the sectoral front, the rate sensitive banking sector outperformed all its peers, surging by over a percent, other major gainers were Capital Goods and Power sector, from the non sectoral gauge shares of retail companies soared amid reports that the government may allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail sector.
On the other hand metal sector stocks remained the top laggard despite report that 8 Karnataka iron ore mines will resume operations by the end of July. The telecom stocks too were under pressure as the Department of Telecom (DoT) issued first set of guidelines for the upcoming auction of 2G spectrum in the 1800 MHz and 800 MHz bands without any mention of auction price.
Caustic soda makers Aditya Birla Nuvo and Tata Chemicals gained 1-2% while DCW shot up 13% after the government has imposed anti-dumping duty for five years on caustic soda import.
Rice stocks like Kohinoor Foods, LT Foods and KRBL were up 8-14% as the Indian government has removed minimum export price of basmati rice.
On the currency front, the rupee fell sharply against the US dollar on Thursday, extending a fall from the previous session, as the euro lost some ground ahead of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) policy meeting and weaker Asian shares.
The rupee today breached the 55-level again due to increased demand for the greenback from banks and importers. The rupee was at 55.0150 versus the dollar after being as low as 55.06 and as high as 54.79. It opened at 54.80.
The statement from Mauritius Foreign Ministry saying India has assured Mauritius economic interests won’t be harmed also helped market extend gains in last couple of trade. Mauritius Foreign Ministry said, “We have made offers to India w.r.t to tax treaty revision and the meeting of joint working group will take place on August 27-28.