The official signing of Phase-1 of US-China trade deal, scheduled for January 15, coupled with a recovery in the industrial production data lifted sentiment at D-Street, where Indian equities hit fresh lifetime highs today. Besides, healthy December quarter numbers by IT bellwether Infosys and appreciation of rupee to a one-month high kept sentiment buoyed.
The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex scaled fresh peak of 41,899.63 in the early morning trade today. The 30-share pack, however, settled the day at 41,859.69 level, up 260 points or 0.62 per cent. Infosys, IndusInd Bank, HUL and Bharti Airtel were the top contributors towards the index's gain today.
Buoyed by a positive troika of increase in revenue guidance, attrition decline, and audit panel's clean chit on whistleblower allegations, shares of Infosys settled as the top gainer on the 30-share Sensex index, up 4.76 per cent. On Friday, the IT bellwether said that its audit committee found no evidence of financial impropriety or executive misconduct and determined that the whistle-blower allegations were without merit.
The market breadth remained decisively in the favour of advances, with 2 scrips advancing at the bourses for every single scrip that declined on the BSE.
On the NSE, the broader Nifty50, too, hit a record high of 12,337.75, surpassing its previous high of 12,311 hit on Friday, January 10. At close, the index was at 12,329 level, up 72.20 points or 0.59 per cent.
Market participants were, however, eyeing consumer price index (CPI) inflation numbers for the month of December, slated to be released later in the evening.
The broader markets, however, outperformed the benchmarks today with the S&P BSE mid-cap index gaining for the fifth straight day to settle 0.80 per cent higher at 15,280.20 level. The S&P BSE small-cap index, on the other hand, edged 0.93 per cent higher at 14,277.58.
Big corporate developments:
Bombay High Court has given ex-ICICI head Chanda Kochhar a week's time to file a reply to ICICI Bank & RBI, who is contesting her dismissal from the Bank in the alleged money-laundering case. Kochchar and her husband are being probed in a money laundering case involving Videocon.
In January last year, ICICI Bank’s internal inquiry found that Chanda Kochhar had violated disclosure norms on conflict of interest and that her October 2018 exit would not be treated as normal resignation but as dismissal.
In another development, Reliance Industries could get a new Managing Director soon if the directive by the Securities and Exchange Board of India on the separation of the Chairman and Managing Director posts is implemented as per schedule on April 1. Mukesh Ambani, present-day CMD of RIL, will become the non-executive Chairman while a non-Ambani may become RIL's MD for the first time in the company's history.
Here's a look at how the global markets performed today:
Asian shares reached new 19-month highs on Monday ahead of the expected signing of Phase 1 China-US trade deal.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.61 per cent higher. South Korea’s Kospi added 1.01 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.95 per cent.
The benchmark European STOXX 600 index was up 0.02 per cent by 1:40 pm.