The Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark index, the Sensex, marked its second steepest winning streak in the last four years, when it closed 140.54 points up, on Friday.
The Sensex gained 11.52% in the last 10 trading sessions, rising to an all-time high of 17,361.47 from 15,504.43 on 17 September. The rally was spurred by the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate cut on 18 September, which suggested the end of the global rate tightening cycle.
The Sensex’s 11.52% gain is second sharpest since it rose 12.85%, in a 12-day rally, to close at 4,849.27 points in October 2003. It is also the third longest rally since the stock market’s bull run started in 2003, behind the 12-day run in October 2003 and an 11-day rally, where it gained 7.33% in September 2005.
Buoyant corporate results and strong foreign inflows have meant the Sensex is up 24.02% since the beginning of the year. The fear of rate hikes, which dogged the market earlier in the year, may also have been put behind by the five- year low inflation figures, released on Friday. In the last fiscal year, five interest rate hikes, have brought inflation down to 3.23% for the week ended 8 September, from 3.32% in the previous week.
With inflation staying below the the central bank’s medium-term target of 4.0-4.5%, the Sensex gained steadily over the last few weeks.
While Friday’s trading marked the second sharpest rise in the Sensex, the third highest rise since 2003 also came this month. The Sensex rose 9.19% to close at 15,465.40 points on 4 September, another unbroken 10-day rise since 23 August. After a brief correction, the Sensex started its current rally on 17 September in which all but one of the Sensex’s 30 stocks rose. Ambuja Cements Ltd is the only stock to miss out, closing .96% down on Friday.The highest gainer was Reliance Energy Ltd, which gained 32.79% during the 10-day rally.