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Equity markets at new peak, Nifty closes above 9,900-mark

Mumbai, July 17 (IANS) Boosted by the onset of quarterly results and Parliament's monsoon session, the key Indian equity indices -- the Sensex and the Nifty -- edged up to close at a fresh high on Monday.

The wider Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) settled above the 9,900-mark to close at a new high of 9,915.95 points -- up 29.60 points or 0.30 per cent from the previous session's close -- after touching a record high of 9,928.20 points intra-day.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE also closed at a new high of 32,074.78 points -- up 54.03 points or 0.17 per cent, from its previous close at 32,020.75 points. It scaled a fresh intra-day high of 32,131.92 points.

Market observers opined that investors' sentiments were uplifted by positive global cues and inflow of foreign funds. In another development, the market capitalisation (m-cap) of industrialist Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) crossed the Rs 500,000 crore-mark for the first time.

However, some gains were capped as heavy selling pressure was witnessed in FMCG and capital goods stocks.

In terms of the broader markets, the BSE mid-cap index inched up 0.07 per cent and the BSE small-cap index by 0.01 per cent.

"Markets ended with modest gains on Monday, driven by BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance), technology stocks and Reliance Industries. The Nifty made new life highs in the process although it traded in a range for most of the trading session," Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

"Positive Asian equity market cues boosted investor sentiments. Bluechips outperformed small and mid-caps. European indices like CAC 40 and FTSE 100 traded higher," Jasani added.

On the currency front, the rupee strengthened by 10 paise to 64.35 to a US dollar from its previous close at 64.45.

"Nifty ended above 9,900-mark for the first time. Indian shares climbed, with key equity benchmarks touching record highs for the sixth straight day," said Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls.

"Foreign investors are continuously buying into selected index heavyweight stocks, resulting in the upmove in the market. Reliance Industries' market cap crossed Rs 5 lakh crore, with the stock rising 13 per cent in 11 days."

In investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased scrip worth Rs 328.61 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) divested stocks worth Rs 447.14 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE metal index rose by 116.43 points, the IT index by 95.55 points and the banking index by 89.81 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE FMCG index declined by 166.21 points and the capital goods index by 12.27 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Monday were: Wipro, up 3.12 per cent at Rs 267.60; Adani Ports, up 1.81 per cent at Rs 381.60; ICICI Bank, up 1.69 per cent at Rs 303.05; Cipla, up 1.56 per cent at Rs 555.90; and Infosys, up 1.37 per cent at Rs 985.35.

Major Sensex losers were: ITC, down 3.40 per cent at Rs 325.75; Coal India, down 1.34 per cent at Rs 247.20; Dr. Reddy's Lab, down 0.72 per cent at Rs 2,685; Axis Bank, down 0.42 per cent at Rs 510.95; and Maruti Suzuki, down 0.41 per cent at Rs 7,525.55.

--IANS

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