A minor blip in the markets earlier today was quickly bought into as healthy December quarter results, consistent FII buying, and hopes of status-quo in the Reserve Bank of India's February monetary policy, due on Friday, kept optimism intact in the markets.
Investor wealth reached a new pinnacle today as market capitalisation of all the firms listed on the BSE hit Rs 200-trillion milestone. The day ended with an aggregate m-cap of Rs 200.5 trillion on the BSE.
Robust buying in shares of ITC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, State Bank of India, Bajaj Finance, ICICI Bank, and M&M helped the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex scale a fresh lifetime peak of 50,687 level in the intra-day trade. At close, the index was 358 points, or 0.71 per cent, up at 50,614 levels.
The broader Nifty50, on the other hand, continued its march towards the crucial 15,000-mark and ended at a new closing high of 14,896 levels, up 106 points or 0.7 per cent. The index hit a lifetime high of 14,914 in the intra-day trade today.
In the broader markets, midcap stocks such as Jubilant Foods and BHEL (up 7 per cent each), Tata Power (up 6.5 per cent), Sun TV and Balkrishna Industries (up 6 per cent each), and Canara Bank, ABFRL, ABB, and Adani Green (all up between 5 per cent and 5.5 per cent) dazzled at the bourses. Effectively, the S&P BSE MidCap Index settled 1.4 per cent higher on the BSE while the S&P BSE SmallCap index ended 1.2 per cent up.
Sectorally, Nifty PSU Bank index outran the markets and closed nearly 6 per cent higher on the NSE. Financial sector stocks, especially banks, have been in the limelight since Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to divest stake in two PSBs while unveiling Budget 2021 proposals. That apart, the FM set aside Rs 20,000 crore for recapitalisation of PSBs. Individually, Indian Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, SBI, Canara Bank, and Punjab National Bank ended higher between 6 per cent and 18 per cent.
That apart, the Nifty Bank index clocked a new closing high of 35,345, up 586 points or 1.7 per cent. The index hit a record high of 35,413 earlier today.
Among key December quarter results declared during the day, SBI reported a 6.9 per cent year-on-year drop in standalone net profit at Rs 5,196.22 crore on the back of higher provisions. The number, however, beat Street estimates which had factored-in an up to 58 per cent YoY decline in net profit. Moreover, fresh slippages during the quarter came in at Rs 237 crore, plunging 98.5 per cent YoY and 91.4 per cent QoQ.
NTPC, meanwhile, closed 2% higher on the BSE after the company reported a net profit of Rs 3,315 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2020, up 11 per cent year-on-year.
That apart, shares of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation also closed around 2% higher today as the firm registered a little over 3-fold increase in Q3FY21 profit compared to corresponding period, driven by strong operating performance and doubled other income. Net profit jumped sharply to Rs 2,355 crore in Q3FY21 as against Rs 747 crore last year.
In the primary market, Brookfield REIT's three-day IPO was subscribed 55% till 4 PM on day 2 of the issue.
Stocks dipped on Thursday as a spike in short-term Chinese interest rates fanned worries about policy tightening in the world’s second-largest economy.
MSCI's ex-Japan Asian-Pacific index fell 1.2 per cent, led by drops in South Korea and China, while Japan's Nikkei lost 1.1 per cent.
In Europe, shares paused after a three-day rally. The STOXX 600 index was flat in early trading, while Milan's FTSE MIB index fell 0.2 per cent.
Meanwhile, Dow Jones Futures were last down 24 points indicating a flat start on Wall Street later today.