With foreign investors continuing their buying spree, the benchmark Sensex on Monday crossed the 22,000 mark for the first time, but closed almost flat.
The BSE barometer resumed nearly 100 points lower on the back of weak Asian cues but later swung between positive and negative territories. After registering an all-time high of 22,023.98, it ended at a new high of 21,934.83, a rise of 15.04 points or 0.07 per cent. This surpassed the previous closing high of 21,919.79 set on last Friday. The Sensex has gained 988 points in the last five sessions.
The CNX Nifty of the NSE also edged up by 10.60 points, or 0.16 per cent, to record its closing high of 6,537.25. The Sensex, which hit the 21,000 level in November 2010, took over three years to reach the 22,000 level. On November 5, 2010, the index closed above the 21,000-mark on hopes that inflows into India would continue to be robust following the second quantitative easing announced by the US Federal Reserve.
However, BSE dealer Pawan Dharnidharka said, “The market could be ripe for a correction before it gains further momentum when the election process hits the peak.”
According to analysts, bulls were encouraged by the support extended by foreign investors who bought shares worth a net Rs 2,577 crore on Friday, their biggest daily purchases since December 9. That marked a 16th straight buying session for a net of around $1.4 billion, which is a record in the recent times. They bought shares worth Rs 1,253.65 crore on Monday, as per provisional stock exchange data.
Vinod Nair, head-fundamental research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial, said, “It is a breather from the strong pre-poll rally last week. A typical pre-election rally can run to about 10-15 per cent.” Overseas investors are also building up long positions in NSE futures across indexes, especially in banks, in an indication they could be betting on a sustained record-setting gain. FIIs have bought futures worth Rs 3,889 crore in March, their biggest monthly purchases since October when the amount reached Rs 4,566 crore.
The gains were driven by foreign investors switching from exporters to domestic-focused sectors on hopes for an improved economy after the elections in May. “Positive global cues, optimism ahead of elections and FIIs buying are leading to sustained momentum,” said Nidhi Saraswat, senior research analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
Rupee hits 7-month high
MUMBAI: The rupee rose by 22 paise against the US dollar to end at an over seven-month high level of 60.85 on heavy capital inflows into the stock market and sustained dollar selling by exporters and some banks. The domestic currency commenced lower at 61.26 a dollar from last weekend’s close of 61.07 and rose to a high of 60.79, before ending at 60.85 -level not seen since August 6. ENS