Benchmark indices hit new milestones on Wednesday as economic recovery hopes on the back of a growth-driven Budget, positive global cues, and healthy FII buying continued to please investors. Besides, expansion of Services PMI for the fourth straight month at 52.8 in January, relative to 52.3 in December, also boosted sentiment.
Among the headline indices, the S&P BSE Sensex hit a fresh record high of 50,526 in the intra-day trade today, supported by buying in HDFC, HDFC Bank, Infosys, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, Bharti Airtel, and Reliance Industries. The BSE barometer, however, witnessed mild profit-booking at higher levels but managed to end the day at a fresh closing peak of 50,256, up 458 points or 0.92 per cent.
IndusInd Bank, which surged 10% in the intra-day trade today, settled the day over 7% higher and as the top gainer on the index after global brokerage Morgan Stanley raised its target price on the stock to Rs 1,225 apiece. In their bull-case scenario, the stock price is seen at Rs 2,030 over a period of one-year.
That apart, PowerGrid, Sun Pharmaceuticals, Dr Reddy's Labs, NTPC, and Tech Mahindra were the top gainers on the index. On the downside, losses in UltraTech Cement, Maruti Suzuki, ITC, and Kotak Mahindra Bank capped gains.
The broader Nifty50 index, on the other hand, settled the day at a new closing high of 14,790, adding 142 points or 0.97 per cent. The index hit a fresh record peak of 14,869 earlier today. A total of 10 stocks declined on the Nifty50 index including Shree Cement, UltraTech Cement, UPL, Maruti Suzuki, Grasim, and Asian Paints.
The broader markets, meanwhile, managed to outrun their benchmark peers after three straight days of underperformance. The S&P BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices ended 1.4 per cent and 1.5 per cent higher, respectively.
On the sectoral front, the Nifty Pharma and CPSE indices edged up 3 per cent each, followed by gains in the Nifty PSB index (up 2.3 per cent), and the Nifty Private Bank index (up 2 per cent). On the downside, the Nifty Realty index eased 0.5 per cent.
Coming to individual stocks, shares of Home First Finance Company listed at Rs 618.80 on the NSE, a premium of 19.46 per cent over its issue price of Rs 518. Meanwhile, on BSE, the stock debuted at Rs 612.15, a premium of 18.18 per cent. The stock, however, came under heavy selling pressure and ended just 2% higher against the issue price at Rs 527 on the BSE.
That apart, Tata Motors regained the market capitalisation of Rs 1 trillion following a sharp rally in the stock price. The shares today rallied 6 per cent to Rs 342, up 102 per cent in past six weeks, on healthy operational performance and expectation of improvement in the company's outlook.
Meanwhile, HDFC settled around 2% higher today after analysts revised their targets upwards post the HFC's Q3 result. Global brokerage Jefferies has a target of Rs 3,340 on the stock, translating into a 26% upside from current levels.
On the earnings front, shares of Deepak Nitrite jumped 8% after the company reported a net profit of Rs 87.6 crore in Q3FY21 as against a PAT of Rs 30 crore in the year-ago period. It's revenue increased 29% YoY to Rs 1,447 crore.
On the downside, Jubilant FoodWorks ended 2% lower after the company's same-store-sales growth slipped 1.7% in Q3FY21. It's profit came in at Rs 124 crore, as against Street's expectations of Rs 127 crore.
Lastly, in an after market hours development, Bharti Airtel reported a net profit of Rs 853 crore for the quarter ended December 2020, compared with a loss of Rs 1,035 crore during the same period a year ago. Shares of the telecom services provider hit a record high of Rs 618.75 earlier today and ended 1.5 per cent higher at Rs 609.
In the primary market, the Rs 3,800 crore- public issue of Brookfield REIT was subscribed 13% till 4:30 PM on day 1 of the issue.
Asian shares and US stock futures rose on Wednesday as governments around the world looked poised to boost spending to help economies recover from the coronavirus and vaccine roll-out programmes accelerated.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.58 per cent, Australian stocks gained 0.92 per cent, while shares in China fell 0.03 per cent. Japan's Nikkei added 0.9 per cent.
In Europe, shares rose for the third session on Wednesday amid healthy corporate earnings. Germany's DAX index gained 0.8 per cent, while the STOXX 600 index rose 0.9 per cent.