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Indian stock markets were firm today in noon trade, boosted by positive global equities and lower oil prices. The BSE Sensex index today was up over 300 points to reclaim the 60,000 level while Nifty held on to the 17,900 levels. Indian rupee also moved higher today to 79.33 per US dollar. Data released last week showed India's consumer inflation dipped for the third straight month in July, giving rise to expectations that the Reserve Bank of India might slow down pace and quantum of rate hikes in the coming months. A fall in global oil prices, which dropped to 6-month lows, also boosted appeal of Indian equities.

Sensex is now 2,000 away from all-time highs of 62245, hit in October last year. Bajaj Finserv and Bajaj Finance were among the top gainers among the Sensex stocks, up 4-5%.

“Today’s rescaling of the 60000 peak is a sign of the strength of retail investors in India. It shows the belief of the investors in the India growth story and is another reminder to all of us to be optimistic about India Inc," said Jaideep Hansraj, MD & CEO Kotak securities Ltd.

In India, the decline in inflation, declining crude, strong growth momentum, good monsoon and above all FIIs turning consistent buyers have turned the sentiments in favour of the bulls, say experts. 

As Sensex crossed 60,000 levels, VK Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services, says “though valuations are high it makes sense to remain invested and buy on dips."

“Experts disagreed on whether the ongoing rally is a bear market rally or the beginning of yet another bull market. The majority who believed that this is a bear market rally has been decisively proved wrong by the ferocity of the rally. It is important to appreciate the fact that there is global support to this rally with S&P 500 and Nasdaq bouncing back by 18 and 24% from their June lows. Declining US inflation, confidence that the Fed need not have to aggressively raise rates and the increasing probability of a soft landing of the US economy are supporting this rally. In India, steadily declining inflation, strong growth momentum in the economy and FIIs turning consistent buyers are driving the rally," he added.

Foreign institutional investors have also been pumping money into Indian equities, having bought $2.83 billion worth of shares this month until Aug. 12, compared with an inflow of $618 million all through July, data showed.

Rahul Shah, Co-Head of Research, Equitymaster, said “unlike last time, the valuations are much more reasonable this time around. Although the broader market is by no means cheap, it isn't prohibitively expensive either. Therefore, those looking for fundamentally strong stocks at attractive valuations could still find pockets of undervaluation."

Nifty technical level outlook

Ruchit Jain, Lead Research, 5paisa.com, said: “Although there’s no confirmation of the reversal yet, one should reduce the quantum of long positions and take some money off the table as highly overbought readings around the resistance zone could lead to some profit booking in the near future. The intraday stock specific momentum has been buzzing and until there’s any reversal, traders should look for such stock specific opportunities and trade with proper risk management. The immediate support for Nifty has now shifted higher to 17720 followed by 17600 while resistances are seen around 17,870 and 18,000 levels."

Anand James - Chief Market Strategist at Geojit Financial Services, said “trading ranges are indeed shrinking. Downside markers may continue to remain near 17660/690, with 17900 vicinity likely to pose an intraday challenge."

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