Sensex, Nifty scale fresh peaks; financials, IT stocks shine

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Mumbai, Jan 5 (PTI) Equity benchmark Sensex defied gravity for the 10th straight session to close at a fresh lifetime high on Tuesday as robust buying in financial and IT stocks offset lacklustre global cues.

Persistent foreign fund inflows supported the benchmarks, though a weakening rupee capped the gains, traders said.

Despite opening on a negative note, the 30-share BSE index pared all losses and staged a smart recovery to end 260.98 points or 0.54 per cent higher at 48,437.78. It touched an all-time high of 48,486.24 during the day.

The Sensex has closed at record highs for seven sessions on the trot.

The broader NSE Nifty rose 66.60 points or 0.47 per cent to settle at a new peak of 14,199.50. It scaled a record intra-day high of 14,215.60.

Axis Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying 6.31 per cent, followed by HDFC, IndusInd Bank, TCS, Asian Paints, HCL Tech, Titan and ICICI Bank.

On the other hand, ONGC, Bajaj Finance, NTPC, M&M and Reliance Industries were among the laggards, tumbling up to 2.06 per cent.

'Domestic equities saw a brisk recovery from today's low mainly led by sharp rebound in banking and IT stocks. Continued improvement in COVID-19 recovery rates along with likely commencement of vaccination drive shortly and sustained improvement in key economic data defied weak global markets.

'IT stocks witnessed strong buying ahead of TCS' 3Q FY21 numbers...Key economic data for Dec'20 have been quite encouraging, which along with likely commencement in vaccination drive in India have bolstered investors’ confidence. Hence, domestic equities are likely to remain in buy on dips mode,' said Binod Modi, Head Strategy at Reliance Securities.

BSE bankex, finance, IT, teck, consumer durables and capital goods indices rose up to 1.90 per cent, while metal, energy, realty, oil and gas, basic materials and auto closed lower.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices climbed as much as 1.38 per cent.

Global markets were mixed after Britain announced a fresh nationwide coronavirus lockdown, while Wall Street wilted under selling pressure in the overnight session.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong ended on a positive note, while Tokyo was in the red.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading mixed in early deals.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.69 per cent to USD 51.44 per barrel.

The rupee depreciated by 15 paise to finish at 73.17 against the US dollar. PTI ANS ABM ANS ABM ABM