India’s Nifty 50, Sensex hit fresh closing highs


Bengaluru (Reuters) – India’s Nifty 50 and Sensex stock indexes logged new closing highs on Friday and posted gains for the fourth week in a row, as U.S. data boosted bets that the Federal Reserve may be less hawkish than expected.

The blue-chip Nifty (.NSEI) index closed 0.74% up at 18,826.00, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) rose 0.74% to 63,384.58.

Reuters Graphics
Reuters Graphics

Both indexes came within 0.25% of their record highs in the minutes before close of trade, while the volatility index (.NIFVIX) fell to a more than three-year low of 10.84.

Eleven of the 13 major sectoral indexes rose, with high weightage financials (.NIFTYFIN) leading gains after Morgan Stanley said large private banks remain in a sweet spot due to asset quality normalisation.

The brokerage identified ICICI Bank (ICBK.NS), Axis Bank (AXBK.NS) and IndusInd Bank (INBK.NS) as its top sectoral picks.

Broader indexes also extended gains, with the midcap index (.NIFMDCP100) settling at new record high of 35,144.30 and smallcap index (.NIFSMCP100) closing at its highest since April 11, 2022.

Analysts expect the ongoing rally to sustain, albeit after a period of consolidation.

“The consolidation phase will provide investors time to accumulate and be positioned for a rally, which could strengthen over next three to six months,” said Kaizad Hozdar, investment advisor at TrustPlutus Wealth.

Among individual stocks, HDFC Life Insurance (HDFL.NS) and SBI Life Insurance (SBIL.NS) were among the top Nifty gainers after analysts expected lower exposure to high-ticket policies to offset the adverse impact due to new tax laws.

Meanwhile, Ashok Leyland (ASOK.NS) rose nearly 4.5% to a nine-month high after analysts saw benefits from the automaker’s expansion plans, focus on margin improvement and pricing discipline.

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