The benchmark indices eked out gains to rise for the ninth straight day, as investors shrugged off concerns about a halt in Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine study and rising domestic inflation.
The Sensex closed up 0.1 per cent, or 31.71 points, at 40,625.51, after swinging between gains of 0.5 per cent and losses of 0.3 per cent following Johnson & Johnson’s announcement that its study had been temporarily halted because a clinical trial participant experienced an unexplained illness. The Nifty50 added three points, or 0.03 per cent, to end at 11,934.50 — also edging higher for a ninth day.
The last time the Sensex had gained for nine straight sessions was in April 2018. It had, however, added only 4.2 per cent in those nine sessions. In September-October 2007, the index had ended in the green for 11 days in a row. Back then — during the height of the 2007-08 bull market — the Sensex had gained for 11 straight sessions and added 15.1 per cent.
The two gauges are close to erasing year-to-date losses, supported by inflows of around $580 million into Indian equities from foreign investors this month.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was up 0.2 per cent after falling by a similar magnitude earlier in the day.
Still, rising prices weighed on sentiment at a time when consumer confidence has plummeted to a record low. The data published Monday showed consumer-price inflation accelerated to 7.34 per cent last month, which was more than estimated and could prompt monetary policy makers to keep interest rates on hold for longer. This comes as the Centre has unveiled measures worth $6.6 billion to stimulate consumer demand.