Sensex ended 127 points higher at 38,672
Sensex ended 127 points higher at 38,672

Sensex finishes March on a high note, logs 8% gain for the month

  • The broader benchmark Nifty reclaimed 11,600 mark, ending at the highest level since August 2018
  • Global markets were mostly higher today

Indian markets ended higher today, bolstered by gains in IT, auto, metal and energy stocks. Higher global markets also lifted the sentiment. The Sensex ended 127 points higher at 38,672. At day's high, the Sensex rose over 200 points to 38,748, less than 250 points away from its all-time high of 38,989, hit in August last year. Broader index Nifty settled at 0.47% higher at 11,623, its highest close since August 2018. Vedanta and Tata Steel led the gainers in metal stocks, rising nearly 3% each. In the auto pack, M&M and Tata Motors both gained over 2% while Maruti Suzuki rose 1.3%. The breadth of the market was also strong, with BSE midcap index rising 1%. 

Here are 10 updates from the stock markets:

1) The Sensex has logged 8%, or 2,800-point, gain this month, with many analysts attributing it to to a pre-election rally in anticipation of a stable government at the Centre. The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections start from April 11.

2) Financial stocks, which have a significant weight in benchmark indices like Sensex and Nifty, have led the rally this month. Nifty Bank, the sectoral index, surged nearly 14% this month, hitting new highs. In today's trade, the banking index ended on a flat note at 30,426.

3) “Many things have gone in favour of banking space such as formation of fresh bad loan gradually declining, recovery process under IBC peaking momentum and return of pricing for banks as many NBFCs face liquidity issue," says Jaikishan Parmar, senior equity research analyst at Angel Broking.

4) Analysts are expecting another rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India early next month. "We now think 25 basis points cut is likely in the April meeting. Our thinking is driven by three factors- continued weakness in economic activity, still benign inflation and soft global growth, and a dovish Fed," Goldman Sachs said in a report.

5) Overseas investors have pumped in more than $6 billion into domestic equities this year on bets of strong company earnings, lower interest rates and chances of a stable government at the centre.

6) Global central banks, including US Federal Reserve, have adopted a softer stance, leading to increased flows into emerging markets like India.

7) The European Central Bank could further delay an interest rate hike and may look at measures to mitigate the side-effects of negative interest rates, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Wednesday, warning that risks to growth were on the rise.

8) “Nifty internals suggest that recent rally has been broad-based compared to previous ones as 29 stocks from the index have outperformed Nifty so far – A perfect ingredient for a sustained rally. We expect Nifty to continue its northbound journey and attempt 12,100 levels," Pritesh Mehta, senior vice president for research at Yes Securities.

9) Another global financial services major Goldman Sachs recently upgraded its view on India to "overweight", expecting the Nifty to reach 12,500 in the next 12 months, up from its previous target of 11,700. The risk/reward appears favourable for India once again, Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note.

10) Global markets are mostly higher today on revived hopes of progress in US-China trade talks. The mood was brightened after US officials said China has made proposals in trade talks with the United States on a range of issues that go further than it has before, including on forced technology transfer. (With Agency Inputs)

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