By Porisma P. Gogoi

Mumbai– Key Indian equities indices continued their bull run for the fifth straight week to gain over a per cent each, as positive corporate news and US Fed’s plans of a gradual rate hike enhanced investors’ risk-taking appetite.

The indices rose to their new five-month highs on the back of corporate news which included Tata Consultancy Services’ (TCS) announcement of a share buy-back, along with Reliance Jio’s move to introduce tariff plans and Bharti Airtel’s proposal to acquire Telenor India.

However, the outflow of foreign funds and volatility during the derivatives expiry capped gains.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE gained 424.22 points or 1.49 per cent to close at 28,892.97 points.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose by 117.8 points or 1.32 per cent to 8,939.50 points, its new 52-week high.

In terms of the broader markets, the CNX mid-cap and small-cap indices underperformed the broader markets as they gained 1.2 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively.

“The domestic stock market continued its record-breaking spree and the Nifty breached the crucial psychological level of 8,950 points for the first time since September 8, 2016. Actually, healthy global cues buoyed investors’ sentiments,” D.K. Aggarwal, Chairman and Managing Director, SMC Investments and Advisors, told IANS.

On technical levels, Rakesh Tarway, Head of Research, Reliance Securities, explained that the Nifty is just two per cent away from its all-time high of March 15, even as it closed at all-time high on the “weekly candle”.

“We continue to maintain our positive bias on the markets with intermediate resistances near the previous peak of 9,119 levels,” Tarway cited.

Commenting on the sector-specific movement, Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS: “Sectorally, top gainers were realty, metals, banking and telecom indices. The top losers were the textile and cement indices.”

According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, the Indian equities markets traded with firm sentiments tracking appreciation in the Indian rupee against the US dollar.

The rupee strengthened by 18 paise to 66.83 against a US dollar from last week’s close of 67.01.

“Some support came with the report that the government hopes to overshoot the Rs 45,500 crore disinvestment (divestment) targets for the current fiscal amid strengthening of equities markets,” Desai added.

“Support also came with the report that overseas investment in India is likely to surge to a record in the year ending March despite temporary growth hiccups ascribed to the currency swap programme.”

Recent data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) disclosed that India’s FDI (foreign direct investment) during the April-December period rose 22 per cent to $35.8 billion from the year earlier.

Provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 1,736.02 crore during the week, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased scrips worth Rs 2,836.27 crore.

Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) disclosed that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought equities worth Rs 6,357.26 crore, or $947.92 million, from February 20-23.

The top weekly Sensex gainers were: Reliance Industries (up 11.05 per cent at Rs 1,182.60), Axis Bank (up 7.03 per cent at Rs 527.65), HDFC Bank (up 5.10 per cent at Rs 1,395), Asian Paints (up 4.03 per cent at Rs 1,008.80) and Sun Pharma (up 4.02 per cent at Rs 675.40).

The losers were: NTPC (down 2.82 per cent at Rs 165.30), Dr.Reddy’s Lab (down 1.25 per cent at Rs 2,890.15), Power Grid (down 0.85 per cent at Rs 199.10), Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) (down 0.59 per cent at Rs 1,308.55), and HDFC (down 0.59 per cent at Rs 1,385.10).

The Indian equity markets were closed on Friday on account of Mahashivratri. (IANS)