Benchmarks ended at record highs for the second straight session on Friday, as investors remained hopeful of upbeat corporate earnings despite lacklustre numbers from TCS. The BSE Sensex gained 88.90 points to end at 34,592.39, while the broader NSE Nifty finished at 10,681.25, up 30.05 points.
The indices suffered a bout of volatility mid-session following an unprecedented press conference by four senior judges of the Supreme Court where they mounted a virtual revolt against the chief justice and listed a litany of problems afflicting the country’s highest court.
However, buying momentum resumed soon, which propelled the markets to record levels. This was the sixth weekly gain in a row for the benchmarks. During the week, the Sensex gained 438.54 points, or 1.28 per cent, while the Nifty rose 122.40 points, or 1.15 per cent.
“Positive trade in global market and expectation of revival in domestic earnings from H1FY18 is upholding the healthy sentiment. On the other hand, concern over December CPI inflation and increase in oil prices are likely to add volatility in the near term,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
After opening on a strong footing, the Sensex advanced to hit a fresh lifetime high of 34,638.42 on the back of continued buying by domestic funds and retail investors but later declined to 34,342.16.
It finally settled 88.90 points, or 0.26 per cent higher at 34,592.39, breaking its previous record closing of 34,503.49 hit in Thursday’s trade.
The broader Nifty, after scaling an all-time high (intra-day) of 10,690.40 points, finished at 10,681.25, up 30.05 points, or 0.28 per cent.
It surpassed its previous record closing of 10,651.20 hit on Thursday. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought equities to the tune of Rs 7.70 billion, while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 6.24 billion on net basis on Thursday, provisional data showed. TCS slipped 0.56 per cent after the IT major on Thursday reported a 3.6 per cent drop in net profit for the December quarter at Rs 65.31 billion.
However, Infosys, which announced its results after market hours today, posted a 38.3 per cent growth in consolidated net profit to Rs 51.29 billion for the October- December quarter of 2017-18.
Other prominent gainers included ONGC, RIL, Dr Reddy's, HDFC, Larsen & Toubro, IndusInd Bank, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra, rising by up to 1.26 per cent.
Sector-wise, the upmove was driven by oil and gas (up 0.69 per cent), banking (0.50 per cent), capital goods (0.48 per cent), metal (0.45 per cent), auto (0.28 per cent), teck (0.14 per cent), infrastructure (0.14 per cent) and IT (0.03 per cent).
The BSE small-cap index inched up 0.05 per cent as investors continued their buying activity but the mid-cap index ended 0.17 per cent lower.
Trading was brisk across global markets. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.94 per cent while Shanghai Composite gained 0.10 per cent. However, Japan's Nikkei shed 0.24 per cent.