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Sensex, Nifty touch new highs

Mumbai, Aug. 18: Prime Minister’s first Independence Day speech may have fallen short of big-bang reforms but it was enough to fire up the markets today.

Opening after a long weekend, Modi’s pledge to improve governance and boost manufacturing on August 15 sent the benchmark indices to record levels. The BSE Sensex rose nearly 288 points to close at a new high of 26390.36, while the 50-share Nifty of the NSE gained 83 points to finish at a fresh peak of 7874.25.

Sustained buying by foreign funds and lower crude oil prices following receding geo-political concerns also added to the cheer.

Though Modi didn’t make any major reform announcements, as expected by investors, he indicated that decisions would be implemented quickly as the new government would look to iron out the differences among various departments. Modi’s commitment to boost infrastructure and manufacturing also buoyed sentiment.

Some experts feel the index could breach 30000 in a year if inflation, particularly retail, cools further and the government takes reform measures.

“Higher FII participation after the Prime Minister’s August 15 speech signals the rising confidence on India’s growth trajectory. The recent sharp correction in small and mid-caps have been used as an opportunity to buy in,” Vinod Nair, head-fundamental research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, said.

Provisional data from the stock exchanges today showed foreign investors were net buyers worth over Rs 473 crore.

Tata Power shines

Shares of Tata Power today rallied on the stock exchanges after the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission granted it a 25-year distribution licence to supply power in the city and other adjoining areas.

On the BSE, the Tata Power scrip hit an intra-day high of Rs 94.60, a gain of nearly 4.30 per cent. However, it pared the gains to close at Rs 92, a rise of 1.43 per cent.

 
 
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