Mumbai, Aug 4: Equity benchmarks clambered up to fresh lifetime highs on Wednesday, with the Sensex surging past the 54,000-mark for the first time, as stellar earnings whetted risk appetite amid supportive global cues.
Banking and finance stocks saw hectic buying after largest lender SBI reported a 55 per cent jump in standalone net profit at Rs 6,504 crore for the June quarter, helped by a decline in bad loans. Surging for the third straight session, the 30-share BSE Sensex rallied 546.41 points or 1.02 per cent to end at its new record of 54,369.77, bettering the previous session's closing high. It scaled its lifetime peak of 54,465.91 during the session.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty surged 128.05 points or 0.79 per cent to its all-time peak of 16,246.85. It touched a lifetime intra-day high of 16,290.20. HDFC was the top performer in the Sensex pack, surging 4.77 per cent, followed by Kotak Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank. On the other hand, Titan, Nestle India, UltraTech Cement, Sun Pharma, Maruti and Bharti Airtel were among the laggards, dropping up to 2.14 per cent.
However, the market breadth was negative, with 16 Sensex stocks closing in the red, while 14 advanced. Domestic equities extended gains with benchmarks Sensex and Nifty scaling fresh highs mainly on the back of sharp rebound in heavyweight financials, said Binod Modi, Head - Strategy at Reliance Securities. He noted that financials were the sole driving force for the market rally, which was triggered after better-than-expected June quarter performance reported by SBI. Positive cues from global equities also lifted sentiments, he added.
Nimish Shah, Chief Investment Officer - Listed Investments, Waterfield Advisors, said corporate results have come in-line with expectations across sectors.
"While the low base effect is influencing the year-on-year returns reported by large corporations, overall positive traction in the economy is turning out to be promising. On the back of this optimism, markets have continued to see healthy flows from local investors.
"While the FIIs pulled out over Rs 11,000 crores from the equity markets, domestic institutions pumped in Rs 21,000 crores in July 2021. Of the latter, mutual funds have contributed around Rs 13,900 crores...," he stated.
Sectorally, BSE bankex, finance and power indices climbed as much as 2.60 per cent, while telecom, realty and consumer durables nursed losses.
Broader BSE midcap and small-cap indices under-performed the benchmark, shedding up to 1.06 per cent. World equities too were boosted by strong corporate results, offsetting concerns over the unabated rise in COVID-19 cases in multiple countries. Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul ended with gains, while Tokyo was in the red. Equities in Europe were also in the green in afternoon trade.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude advanced 0.18 per cent to USD 72.28 per barrel. The rupee strengthened against the US currency for the third straight session on Wednesday, closing 9 paise higher at 74.19. Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market on Tuesday as they purchased shares worth Rs 2,116.60 crore, as per exchange data.