Benchmark equity indices recovered from a weak start to finish higher for a third straight session on Friday, as sector bellwether Accenture’s revenue warning offset optimism around US Federal Reserve rate cuts.

The BSE benchmark Sensex gained 191 points or 0.26% to settle at 72,832, while the NSE Nifty was up 85 points or 0.39% to 22,097.

Meanwhile, the market capitalisation of all listed companies on BSE surged by Rs 2.28 lakh crore to Rs 382.13 lakh crore.

Sun Pharma, Maruti Suzuki, IndusInd Bank and Titan were the top Sensex gainers in Friday’s trade, rising 2-3%.

On the other hand, IT stocks such as Infosys, Wipro, HCL Tech, TCS, and Tech Mahindra closed with cuts after Accenture highlighted a weak demand outlook.

Barring IT, all the other major sectors gained, helped by optimism from the Fed maintaining its outlook for rate cuts in 2024. Nifty Auto, Media, Pharma, and Realty closed over 1% each, while Nifty IT ended 2.3% lower.In the broader market, Nifty Smallcap100 and Midcap100 rose 0.6%.Among individual stocks, IREDA was locked in 5% upper circuit after the firm declared plans to raise Rs 24,200 crore in FY2024-25 through borrowing.

The market breadth was skewed in the favour of the bulls. About 2,436 stocks gained, 1,373 declined, and 97 remained unchanged on the BSE.

Expert Take

“The domestic market swiftly rebounded from an initial downturn and maintained a positive trajectory throughout the day, buoyed by favourable global cues driven by dovish comments from the BoE and buying activity at lower levels in the wake of a recent sell-off,” said Vinod Nair, head of research, Geojit Financial Services.

Additionally, the retreat of crude oil prices from recent highs contributed to the positive sentiment, said Nair.

Rupak De, senior technical analyst, LKP Securities, said, “Nifty witnessed two days of recovery following a Doji formation on the daily chart, indicating a bullish reversal. Moreover, the Nifty has reclaimed the critical 55-day exponential moving average. However, Nifty needs to cross over 22,100 to witness a clear rally towards the all-time high of 22,525. On the lower end, 22,950 might remain a strong support for the index. Below this level, the index might enter a consolidation phase.”

Global Markets

Stocks were mixed on Friday in Asia after Wall Street tapped fresh records, led by big gains in chipmakers. Japan’s Nikkei 225 topped 41,000 for the first time early Friday but then fell back, closing up 0.2% lower at 40,888. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2% and the Shanghai Composite sank 1%.

Meanwhile, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1% and was on track for its eighth consecutive weekly gain after notching another fresh high earlier in the day, with Britain’s FTSE 100 outperforming regional peers.

Crude Oil

Oil prices were little changed on Friday, with global benchmark Brent hovering above $85 per barrel, as the possibility of a ceasefire in Gaza gained traction.

Brent crude futures were down 2 cents to $85.76 a barrel by 1017 GMT. U.S. crude futures were up 1 cent at $81.08 per barrel.

Rupee Weakens

The Indian rupee fell to its lowest level on record against the US dollar on Friday, weighed down by broad weakness in its Asian peers and aggressive local dollar demand.

The rupee fell to an intra-day low of 83.43, before ending marginally higher at 83.4250, but still down 0.3% for the day.

(With inputs from agencies)


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