Investors could not have asked for a better start to Samvat 2067. Asia’s oldest stock exchange saw its benchmark, the Sensex close above the psychological mark of 21,000 for the first time ever, as investors placed token trades for an auspicious start to the new year. The undertone in the 90-minute Muhurat session was clearly bullish, with most experts predicting another “cracker of a year” for the Indian equity market.
The 30-share Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) opened the new Samvat at 21,045.66, up 152 points over Thursday's close. It marched further north to touch a high of 21,108.64, before some amount of profit booking brought it below the 21,000-mark, only to last for a brief period.
The Sensex ended the special trading session at 21,004.96, gaining 111.39 points or 0.53 per cent. This is the second such instance since 1995 when the Sensex gained more than 100 points during a Muhurat session. It had gained nearly 500 points in 2008.
The broader 50-share Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) breached the 6,300-mark to close at an all-time high of 6,312.45, up 30.65 points or 0.49 per cent. The turnover on NSE was a little over Rs 4,200 crore.
Market experts, while welcoming the new year, believe the coming months would see the indices scale new highs on the back of strong foreign inflows and an equally impressive domestic growth.
“Markets are going into the new Samvat with a bullish tone,” said Deven Choksey, managing director, K R Choksey Shares and Securities. “Currently, we are trading with a Sensex PE of 16 times, which is reasonable. Liquidity and strong corporate earnings will drive the markets next year. The risk will be from unprecendented movement in currency,” he explained.
The upbeat investor sentiment during the Muhurat session was further proved by the fact that none of the sectoral indices ended the day in the red. Nearly 80 per cent of the BSE stocks advanced on Friday, against only 527 losers.
“India remains an attractive deflation hedge trade for global asset allocators and pension funds,” said Deutsche Bank analysts Abhay Laijawala and Abhishek Saraf, in a report released early this week, while reiterating their year-end Sensex target of 22,000. Inflows into the emerging-market stock funds have already surpassed $60 billion (Rs 2.63 ) in the current calendar year, according to EPFR Global.
Among the index constituents, Tata Motors, Cipla, HUL, SBI, M&M, Hindalco Industries and Reliance Industries gained ground. The Sensex is now around 200 points away from its highest-ever level of 21,206.77 touched during intra-day trades.
Coal India, which made a sizzling debut yesterday, gained another 2.13 per cent during the Muhurat session to close at Rs 349.65.
The spectacular success of Coal India, say market experts, will go a long way in attracting retail investors in large numbers.
While foreign institutional investors have been pumping in record amount of money into Indian equities, retail investors have been conspicuous by their absence.
Meanwhile, silver stole the show in Diwali day trading in Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar, closing at Rs 39 200 a kilo, up by Rs 650 from yesterday’s close. Gold 995 closed Rs 285 higher at Rs 19,920, but gold of 999 purity closed at Rs 20,015. Buying was minimal for both.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei gained 267 points, while the Hang Seng was up 341 points.
Most of the leading equity indices have been on an upswing after the US Federal Reserve announced its decision of shelling out $600 billion to revive the US economy.