Mumbai, Dec. 26: Santa appears to have extended his stay at Dalal Street. Led by old economy stocks, the sensex today ended at a new 46-month high and the National Stock Exchange’s nifty closed at a record high.
The sensex today missed the 5700-mark by a whisker — less than a point. However, brokers are full of hope as the market undertone remains firm. The markets have so far rallied by close to 70 per cent during the current year and India is now the second best performer in Asia.
According to brokers, the New Year will bring cheer for the investor as investments by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) are likely to continue. In December, FIIs have made net investments of $1 billion in Indian shares. This has seen their net investments this year surpass the $6 billion-mark.
However, on the stock markets today, it was the old economy counters, led by cement, steel and power, which shared the honours among others.
Cement stocks, led by ACC, Grasim, Gujarat Ambuja and Larsen & Toubro, were particularly firm on hopes of a strong price hike in the near future.
Brokers said L&T was also firm on news of the company receiving a mega order worth Rs 921 crore from National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) for the country’s largest hydel project.
The sensex ended at a new 46-month high of 5699.24 on buying support by FIIs and operators. The BSE index opened moderately higher at 5650.74, gradually rose to breach the 5700-level at the intra-day high of 5705.30 and closed at 5699.24 against Wednesday’s close of 5641.92, a net rise of 57.32 points or 1.02 per cent.
The nifty surpassed the earlier record high of 1818.15 logged on February 23, 2000, and hit the day’s peak of 1840.35, before mild profit-taking pushed it to a close of 1837.05.
On the BSE, apart from cement shares, other key old economy counters like Tata Motors, Reliance, Hindustan Lever, BSES, State Bank of India, Hindustan Petroleum, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam recorded gains on heavy buying support.
Most of the auto stocks were unaffected by news that steel companies led by Tisco are planning a major price hike early next year. Sources said that Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and Hero Honda finished with gains.
Sterlite Industries was also in keen demand after news of its bonus issue, shares of Thomas Cook flared up on speculations of a bonus issue, which was later denied by company officials.
The volume of business was relatively low at Rs 2,301.74 crore compared with Rs 2,398.79 crore on Wednesday. Apart from Indraprastha Gas, the other top traded shares were Tata Steel (Rs 113.97 crore), SAIL (Rs 103.78 crore), Reliance Industries (Rs 99.97 crore) and Satyam Computers (Rs 98.41 crore).