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The Sensex today surged to a new high, overtaking its earlier high of 38,989 (Reuters)
The Sensex today surged to a new high, overtaking its earlier high of 38,989 (Reuters)

Sensex smashes through 39,000 but settles off highs: 10 things to know

  • Market analysts expect that the RBI will add to its surprise February rate cut this week
  • The Nifty Bank index also hit a new high today but could not sustain gains

Indian markets rose today, with the benchmark Sensex crossing the 39,000 mark for the first time ever, but could not sustain gains as profit-taking emerged at higher levels. The Sensex ended 198 points higher at 38,871 - its second-highest closing ever. At day's high, the Sensex had rallied nearly 450 points to a record high of 39,115. The broader Nifty also settled 0.30% higher at 11,655. All eyes are set on the Lok Sabha elections scheduled to be held in seven phases, beginning April 11.

Here are 10 updates from the stock markets today:

1) Banking stocks index, Nifty Bank, hit a fresh high of 30,646 today but could not sustain the gains. The banking index ended 0.60% lower at 30,250 but some state-run banks like Bank of Baroda and PNB posted strong gains.

2) The country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India today reported 1.6% decline in sales at 1,58,076 units in March. This was in line with expectations. Maruti Suzuki rose 2% while another automaker, Tata Motors, surged 7% to make it the top gainer among the Sensex stocks.

3) Gains in energy stocks were led by 2% advance in market heavyweight Reliance Industries. Among the metal stocks, Vedanta and Tata Steel both gained more than 2.5%.

4) Shares of Embassy Office Parks REIT rose as much as 8% on their market debut today, before closing 5% higher of 313. The initial public offer (IPO) of the country’s first real estate investment trust(REIT), which was open from 18-20 March, was subscribed 2.58 times.

5) Also, bolstering the sentiment, GST collection for the month of March rose 15% year-on-year to 1,06,577 crore, which is the highest ever monthly collection since introduction of GST.

6) Market analysts expect that the Reserve Bank of India will add to its surprise February rate cut this week to boost growth. According to the median estimate in Bloomberg survey, economists expect the central bank to lower the benchmark repo rate by 25 basis points to 6%. The RBI's interest rate decision is scheduled to be announced on April 4.

7) Some analysts however believe that Indian equities could turn volatile as the earnings season begin.

8) "With the start of the result season, the volatility in the stocks will double as politics will also maintain its shadow on the indices," said Umesh Mehta, head of research at SAMCO Securities. 

9) Both Infosys and TCS kick off the March quarter earnings season when they announce their earnings on 12 April. Both Infosys and TCS ended with nearly 1.5% gains today.

10) Global stocks surged higher today, extending gains from their best quarter in nearly 10 years, as strong Chinese factory activity data and signs of progress in US-China trade negotiations gave investors reason to cheer. (With Agency Inputs)

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