Nifty spurts to record high amid F&O expiry

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Mumbai, May 27 (PTI) The NSE Nifty notched up gains for the fifth straight session to finish at a record high on Thursday as monthly derivatives expired amid lacklustre global cues.

A strengthening rupee and a declining trend in COVID-19 cases in the country shored up investor confidence, traders said.

After a choppy session, the NSE Nifty ended 36.40 points or 0.24 per cent higher at its new closing peak of 15,337.85. Its previous closing record was 15,314.70, hit on February 15 this year.

The 30-share BSE Sensex ended 97.70 points or 0.19 per cent higher at 51,115.22.

Banking, IT and energy stocks accounted for most of the gains.

SBI was the top performer in the Sensex pack, jumping 2.84 per cent, followed by Kotak Bank, Axis Bank, Bajaj Auto, UltraTech Cement, Nestle India and PowerGrid.

On the other hand, HDFC, Bajaj Finance, ONGC, Bharti Airtel, HUL and Maruti were among the laggards, shedding up to 2.38 per cent.

'Domestic equities remained resilient and traded in a range amid futures and options (F&O) expiry led volatility,' said Binod Modi, Head-Strategy at Reliance Securities.

IT stocks remained in focus for second consecutive day as sustained visibility of earnings momentum attracted investors' interest back to this space. Further, banks, metals and auto also were in focus.

'Notably, short coverings also have supported momentum in various counters. Buying momentum remained visible in midcap and smallcap stocks and they have outperformed benchmark indices,' he added.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said, 'Market gained its momentum in the opening hours on hopes of a state-wise unlocking due to declining COVID cases. However, RBI's warning of the risk of a bubble in the equity market in its annual report made the market cautious, forcing it to end flat on the day of the monthly F&O expiry.' RBI has noted a disconnect between the market and economy due to COVID-19. The equity market is valued based on its future earnings growth proposition, which is solid for India today. High liquidity does help the market and RBI has reaffirmed its supportive stance till the economy recovers, he added.

The Reserve Bank on Thursday said a durable revival of private consumption and investment would be critical for sustaining economic growth post-pandemic.

Observing that 2020-21 has left a scar on the economy, RBI in its annual report said 'in the midst of the second wave as 2021-22 commences, pervasive despair is being lifted by cautious optimism built up by vaccination drives.' Sector-wise, BSE bankex, consumer durables, power, utilities, IT, capital goods and metal indices rose up to 1.19 per cent, while realty, telecom, oil and gas and healthcare were in the red.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices advanced up to 0.54 per cent.

Global equities were largely on the backfoot ahead of US jobless claims data.

In Asia, bourses in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo closed in the negative terrain, while Shanghai finished with gains.

Stock exchanges in Europe were largely trading in the red in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.77 per cent lower at USD 68.20 per barrel.

The rupee strengthened by 17 paise to end at 72.60 against the US dollar.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market on Wednesday as they purchased shares worth Rs 241.60 crore, as per exchange data.

Meanwhile, India reported 2,11,298 COVID-19 cases in a day, taking the total tally to 2,73,69,093, while recovery went up to 90 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data on Thursday. PTI ANS ABM ABM

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