Sensex, Nifty reaches another milestone on back of foreign buying

Mumbai, March 10: The Sensex and the Nifty hit a record high on Monday on the back of continued strong foreign buying in blue chips such as HDFC Bank.

The Sensex all-time high of 22,005.54 points marked its third consecutive record high in as many sessions, while the Nifty hit a second consecutive milestone at 6,545.10 points.

A stock analyst, Akash Jindal, said that several factors, including the easing tension in Ukraine, were the reasons for the rise of Sensex.

“The crisis of Ukraine had instilled fear in the international economy, but that crisis is now diluting. Secondly, Rupee has taken a good success against Dollar. The rupee which had reached 68.70 against dollar is 61.10 against dollar today. Thirdly, the India centric factor is Narendra Modi’s possibility of becoming the prime minister with good numbers,” said Jindal.

Expectations that the Bharatiya Janata Party, led by its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, would win the upcoming general elections are helping spark some of the gains, amid widespread perceptions it has a more business-friendly stance than the Congress-led coalition.

Foreign investors posted on Friday their biggest daily purchases since December 9, or a net 25.77 billion rupees. That marked a 16th consecutive buying session for a net total of about $1.4 billion.

However, both the Sensex and Nifty edged lower soon after hitting their respective record highs, tracking a slide in Asian shares on the back of disappointing Chinese trade data and uncertainty over the crisis in Ukraine.

A market expert, Sunil Shah, cautioned against the flickering stock market till the general elections, which are due to begin on April 07 and the results are expected on May 16 this year.

He also said that the underlying problems of a crippling economy have not been solved, but are just being overshadowed by various assumptions.

“The underlying fundamentals if we talk about are the same expect that Current Account Deficit (CAD) number is little better but otherwise we talk about corporate earnings, the interest rates are still high, the inflation rates are still high. And others like infrastructure bottle neck, issues with mining and other things. So, nothing has changed. So how sustainable this rally is one has to see that,” said Shah.

For the year, foreign investors have bought a net $850 million in shares, after buying $20 billion worth last year.

Overseas funds have also turned into strong buyers of debt, with net purchases of $4.9 billion so far this year, helping partly reverse their net sales of $8 billion in debt in 2013.

The strong buying is a stark turnaround from last year when India was struggling to contain a record-high current account deficit, sending the rupee to a record low of 68.85 to the dollar in late August.

However, strong curbs on gold imports imposed by the government, including a 10 percent duty, has helped narrow the current account deficit, leading to a more stable currency.

The rupee reached up to 61.10 to the dollar, its strongest level since December 09. (ANI)