A Union Budget that hopes to rekindle animal spirits in the economy, invited flights of domestic and foreign capital in the equity markets. So much so that the benchmark indices logged their highest weekly gains of 9.5 per cent in 10 months. In absolute terms, gains of nearly 1,300 points in Nifty and 4,446 points in Sensex were the best-ever the markets have seen. Even the Nifty Bank index and the Nifty MidCap indices clocked their best-ever weekly gains of 5,090 points and about 1,500 points, respectively.
Individually, SBI jumped 39% this week, its highest-ever in at least 30 years. Besides, IndusInd Bank (up 21%), Tata Motors (20%), UltraTech Cement (19%), and Shree Cement (17%) were the top weekly gainers on Nifty.
Coming to today's trading session, stellar December quarter results by State Bank of India and a status-quo in policy rates by the Reserve Bank of India kept markets afloat even as mild profit-booking amid heightened volatility trimmed gains at higher levels.
At the bourses, the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex surpassed the 51,000-mark on the BSE for the first time and hit a fresh record high of 51,073. The index, however, erased gains partially and ended 117 points, or 0.23 per cent, higher at 50,732 levels.
SBI, that settled up 11.3 per cent higher, was the top gainer on the index as analysts raised their targets on the stock post better-than-expected December quarter results. Global brokerage CLSA, for instance, has set a target price of Rs 560 on the lender's stock.
Kotak Mahindra Bank, UltraTech Cement, Dr Reddy's Labs, ITC, HUL, and HDFC Bank, all up between 1 per cent and 4 per cent, were the other top gainers on the index. On the downside, Axis Bank (down 3 per cent), Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank, Maruti Suzuki, TCS, and HCL Tech were the top laggards on the index.
On the other hand, Nifty50 index surpassed the psychological 15,000-mark and hit a record high of 15,015 levels in the intra-day trade today. At close, the index was at 14,924 levels, up 29 points or 0.19 per cent.
The broader markets, however, came under selling pressure. The S&P BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices ended 0.93 per cent and 0.28 per cent lower, respectively.
Meanwhile, the RBI, earlier today, kept the repo rate unchanged at 4 per cent and maintained the policy stance as 'accomodative' in its bi-monthly monetary policy meeting. Besides, it projected the GDP growth of 10.5 per cent in FY22 for India while the projection for CPI-based inflation was revised to 5.2 per cent for Q4FY21. RBI governor Shaktikanta Das also announced normalisaton of CRR which, he said, would open up space for a variety of market operations to inject additional liquidity.
In another development, Das announced direct online participation by retail investors in Government securities in both primary and secondary market is a big initiative which will broaden the investor base.
Now, let's take a look at some of the individual stocks that moved sharply in the markets today.
First up, is SBI whose shares hit a record high of Rs 408 apiece, rallying 15 per cent on the BSE, after the lender reported healthy asset quality, fewer fresh slippages, and lower-than-projected rise in provisions in Q3FY21. The stock closed around 11 per cent higher on the BSE today and has zoomed over 39 per cent this week, clocking its best weekly gain in 30 years.
That apart, shares of M&M ended 0.3% lower on the NSE after it reported consolidated net profit of Rs 1,268 crore for the December quarter. The company said it has incurred a one-time loss of Rs 1,214 crore, which impacted the bottom-line.
Shares of Zee Entertainment Enterprises plunged 14 per cent on the BSE today on profit booking as investors worried about shrinking operating profit margins.
Meanwhile, shares of Stove Kraft staged a strong debut at the bourses on Friday with the stock listing at Rs 498, a 29 per cent premium over its issue price of Rs 385 per share on the National Stock Exchange. On the BSE, the stock listed at Rs 467, 21 per cent higher than its issue price. The stock, however, ended 14 per cent higher against the issue price on the NSE at Rs 439.
On the coronavirus front, Pharma major Pfizer on Friday said it has decided to withdraw its application for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) of its COVID-19 vaccine in India. It, however, said that the company will continue to engage with the authority and resubmit its approval request with additional information as it becomes available in the near future.
Global shares approached record highs on Friday and the dollar headed for its best weekly gain in three months, as progress in vaccine distribution and US stimulus hopes prompted bets on further normalisation in the global economy.
The STOXX index of Europe's 600 largest stocks was up 0.2 per cent, while MSCI's gauge of Asian shares outside Japan rose 0.4 per cent. Japan's Nikkei also rallied 1.5 per cent.