The markets were buoyant on Wednesday after the Indian Meteorological Department predicted a “normal” monsoon with 100% rainfall this year. Tuesday’s forecast raised hopes of higher agricultural yields and economic growth, leading both the Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex and the National Stock Exchange Nifty to end at new record highs – Sensex closed 314.92 points up at 30,248, while Nifty ended 90.45 higher to settle at 9,407 for the first time.
During the day, Nifty had risen 98 points to hit 9,415. Sensex had also soared 338 points to touch 30,271. Both indices had hit their earlier highest levels on May 5, when the NSE index had touched 9,377 and Sensex, 30,177.
Apart from the IMD’s favourable monsoon prediction, cues from Asian markets also lifted investor sentiments, as did foreign institutional investors who bought equities worth Rs 333 crore. “IMD’s bullish forecast eased concerns over El Nino weather conditions and added further legs to the ongoing rally,” Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit Financial Services, told Business Standard. “Earnings positivity has obviously been keeping markets buoyant and prospects of FII turning buyers in equities also kept markets push higher. Financial services stocks were also seen rallying, reflecting markets’ expectations for further strength in equities.”
The hopes of a good monsoon pulled stocks of companies, such as Chambal Fertilisers, Coromandel International, Finolex Industries, Gujarat State Fertilisers & Chemicals, National Fertilisers, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers and Zuari Agro Chemicals, up.
The FMCG index and pharmaceutical stocks made marginal gains, while the IT index dropped by 0.5%. Among the top gainers were Bharti Airtel, HDFC and Hindustan Unilever, while Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, IDBI Bank, Biocon and ICICI Bank incurred losses.
During intra-day trading, Airtel’s shares, in particular, jumped 10% to Rs 380 even after the firm registered a 72% drop in its net profit for the March quarter. However, it had opened 2.47% lower at Rs 336.95.
Moreover, Asian markets had a mixed response to two important global developments – the dramatic dismissal of United States Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey and Liberal candidate Moon Jae-in winning the South Korean presidential election. Equities in Asia were trading in the green as investors hoped US President Donald Trump will slash corporate and personal taxes.