Stocks on Monday cheered the scheduled roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines in the country by the end of this week and the strong start to the quarterly earnings season. The benchmark Sensex crossed the 49,000 mark for the first time, and is now within striking distance of the 50,000 milestone.
The Sensex rose 487 points, or 1 per cent, to end the session at 49,269, while the Nifty closed at 14,484, a gain of 137 points, or 0.9 per cent. IT stocks were the top gainers and contributed the most towards the Sensex's gains.
Indian stocks continue to be the beneficiaries of benign foreign portfolio investor (FPI) flows amid signs of recovery in the economy. FPIs bought stocks worth Rs 3,139 crore on Monday. Domestic institutional investors, on the other hand, sold shares worth Rs 2,610 crore.
Analysts said the beginning of the vaccination drive would accelerate economic growth.
The earnings season, too, began positively with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) beating the analysts' estimates. The IT major's shares hit an all-time high of Rs 3,224 on Monday before ending the session at Rs 3,175, a gain of 1.75 per cent.
“TCS results gave good momentum to the market. The early results will be good. This week and the next week, the results will keep the momentum going. And then the focus will shift towards the Budget,” said Andrew Holland, CEO of Avendus Capital Alternate Strategies. Saurabh Mukherjea, founder, Marcellus Investments, said it was a known fact that IT results would be good and TCS reinforced that sentiment. “It is apparent to both foreign and domestic investors that the economy is recovering fairly swiftly and that, combined with a Democrat government with house majority, is keeping sentiment buoyant. The expectation is that easy money will continue, and the vaccine roll-out in India is imminent. Today's gain is part of the ongoing momentum in the underlying economy and fund flows."
Reports said the Nifty 50 companies were expected to post double-digit growth in their combined net profits for the quarter ended December.
"The anticipation of better-than-expected earnings season, combined with supportive global cues, aided the upbeat start. In the future, stock-specific volatility would remain high as the earnings season would gain pace. Further, key macro data will be actively tracked by investors," said Ajit Mishra, VP (research) at Religare Broking.
The expectations of a stimulus from the US government are also keeping the markets buoyant. US President-elect Joe Biden has already called for a $2,000 stimulus checks and the package is expected to be announced later this month. However, the valuations at elevated levels are weighing on the minds of investors, warned analysts.