Indian equity indices closed at fresh record highs in a highly volatile trade on Thursday, led by financials and information technology stocks, ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) policy decision of Friday.

The 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex surged 351 points or 0.47% to settle at 74,228. The broader NSE Nifty gained 80 points or 0.36% to end at 22,515.

High-weightage financials rose 0.8%, led by HDFC Bank, which gained 3% and hit its highest level since January 17, after posting sequential growth in deposits in the March quarter.

Nifty IT closed 1.15 higher, led by Coforge, Tech Mahindra, and Mphasis. Nifty Auto and Consumer durables also closed higher.

The broader, more domestically-focussed small-caps rose 0.45%, continuing their rebound after dropping 4.4% in March on valuation concerns.

Among individual stocks, DMart closed 4% higher after the company’s standalone revenue from operations for the March quarter rose 19.9% year-on-year.KEC International shares rose 6% after the company bagged orders worth Rs 816 crore. Total order intake for fiscal year 2024 stood at Rs 18,102 crore.Suryoday Small Finance Bank also closed over 10% higher after the firm’s gross advances increased 41% to Rs 8,650 crore against Rs 6,114 crore registered in the year-ago period.

The focus is now on India’s central bank’s monetary policy decision due on Friday, and the quarterly earnings season, starting next week.

The market breadth was skewed in favour of the bulls. About 2,451 stocks gained, 1,397 declined, and 99 remained unchanged on the BSE.

Expert Views

“Market breadth displayed a positive trend within a narrow trading range, with attention focused on the RBI’s upcoming monetary policy announcement tomorrow (Friday). Expectations lean towards the likely status quo in the repo rate due to prevalent inflation worries,” said Vinod Nair of Geojit Financial Services.

Aditya Gaggar, director of Progressive Shares, said, “The index has made a Hanging Man candlestick pattern at the record levels, which is generally considered a reversal pattern but a firm close above 22,600 will negate the implications of the bearish candle while a level of 22,300 will continue to act as a strong base.”

Global Markets

Global shares rallied on Thursday as US rate cuts remained on the table even if their timing was unclear. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.8%, while Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.5%. South Korea’s Kospi added 1.3%.

S&P 500 futures rose 0.3% and Nasdaq futures 0.4%, while in Europe, the STOXX 600 regional index edged into positive territory.

Crude Oil

Oil prices were steady on Thursday, shored up by concerns about lower supply as major producers keep output cuts in place on signs of strong economic growth in the US, the world’s biggest oil consumer.

Brent futures for June fell 5 cents to $89.30 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures for May fell 1 cent to $85.42 a barrel.

Rupee ends at record closing low

The Indian rupee fell to its weakest closing level on record, pressured by dollar demand from importers while likely intervention from the Reserve Bank of India helped curb the local unit’s losses.

The currency ended at 83.4375 against the U.S. dollar, marginally weaker than its close of 83.4350 in the previous session. The local unit fell to a record low of 83.4550 earlier in the session, likely prompting the RBI to intervene.

(With inputs from agencies)


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