Benchmark stock market indices Sensex and Nifty today closed at record highs, led by gains in banking stocks and IT heavyweight TCS. The Sensex rose as much as 458 points intraday to 39,364, before ending at 39,275, up 369 points. Broader benchmark index Nifty, which hit a fresh high of 11,810 intraday, settled 0.90% higher at 11,787. Banking stocks led the gains with Nifty Bank index rising 1.5%. Earnings, investment flows and elections are likely to be the key drivers for Indian markets this truncated week. Indian markets would remain closed on Wednesday and Friday for Mahavir Jayanti and Good Friday. Voting for the second phase of Lok Sabha elections will take place on April 18. The global cues remained positive with Asian and European markets higher today.
Here are 10 updates from Indian stock markets:
1) The earnings season got off to a good start with market heavyweight TCS reporting yet another quarter of strong results and the management expects continued strong growth in the new fiscal year starting April 1. TCS shares ended 1% higher, extending their Monday's 5% gain.
2) ICICI Bank surged 4% on reports that Goldman Sachs has raised its target price to ₹492, from ₹451. IndusInd Bank (4%), Axis Bank (1.6%), and HDFC Bank (0.80%) were among the other top gainers in the banking pack.
3) Infosys shares continued to drag after its margin and growth guidance disappointed the Street. Infosys shares ended 0.40% lower, after falling nearly 3% on Monday.
4) Wipro shares ended 2.3% lower ahead of its earnings announcement later in the day. RIL and HDFC Bank are also set to report quarterly numbers later this week.
5) Polycab India made a blockbuster debut today on bourses, with shares listing at 20% premium. Shares of Polycab India Ltd was listed on the stock exchanges at ₹644.45, up 19.8% from its issue price of ₹538 per share on Monday. The IPO had got a massive response, with subscription of over 50 times.
6) Elsewhere, SpiceJet shares extended gains to the fourth day as investors bet that the airline will be able to increase capacity amid Jet Airways's financial woes. SpiceJet shares rose 11% today. Jet Airways shares fell 7% after reports, citing sources, said that the management of airline has proposed to suspend all operations of the debt-laden airline at its board meeting today.
7) "Indian markets had a dream run over the last few weeks on the back of dovish and accommodative global central banks and unprecedented foreign flows. The sentiment got a fillip once the Meteorological Department forecast near normal south-west monsoon," said Devang Mehta, head of equity advisory at Centrum Wealth Management.
8) "The Street is also anticipating further rate cuts to reverse the economic slowdown and sensing a return of consumption demand, post the election results. The banks continue to have a lion’s share in the ongoing rally and the onus to lead the earnings for Nifty will lie with the corporate banks," Mehta said. "With two good primary market listings (Metropolis Healthcare and Polycab India) in two days and upbeat mood, all eyes are now set on the ongoing fourth quarter earnings season."
9) Expectations are rising that the RBI could deliver yet another rate cut in June to boost the economy. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) grew at a measly 0.1% in February. Consumer inflation rose at a faster pace than anticipated in March, but remained below the central bank's target for an eighth straight month, increasing the chances for a key interest rate cut in June.
10) Crude oil price remains a key risk for Indian markets as any substantial movement beyond $70 per barrel is not conducive for the Indian economy, analysts say. Brent crude prices are hovering near five-month high of around $71 a barrel.