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India's Sensex, Nifty hit new highs


Photo: Bloomberg file

Mumbai: Indian markets hit new highs on Monday but the Supreme Court's ruling on coal block allocations triggered a wave of selling, especially in metal shares, after which the Nifty surrendered gains to end in the red while the Sensex limped to a new peak on closing with its 17-point rise.

The S&P BSE Sensex, which was up by over 210 points at mid-session after it hit new life high of 26,630.74, washed out major part of early gains. It managed to settle in the green, up by 17.47 points, or 0.07 per cent, at 26.437.02. On a closing basis, this is higher than 26,420.67 hit on August 19.

The wide-based 50-issue CNX Nifty of the NSE also recorded its fresh intra-day historic high of 7,968.25, but came off from the new peak on late selling to end at 7,906.30 — a fall of 6.90 points or 0.09 per cent. On intra-day basis, the Nifty crossed previous peak of 7,929.05 hit on August 22.

The Supreme Court on Monday held that all coal block allocations made since 1993 till 2010 before pre-auction era during previous NDA and UPA regimes have been done in an illegal manner by an "ad-hoc and casual" approach "without application of mind".

As a result, metal stocks like Jindal Steel, Hindalco, Bhushan Steel, Tata Steel, Sesa Sterlite, JSW Steel, Hindustan Zinc, SAIL and NMDC closed down with 1.89-13.97 per cent loss.

Besides metal stocks, realty, power, banking and capital goods counters too attracted profit-booking. Had there not been smart rise in TCS, ITC, HDFC, Infosys, HUL, M&M, Dr Reddy's Lab, Maruti Suzuki and Hero MotoCorp, the Sensex too would have closed deep in the red.

"Market sentiment was strong till mid-session, however, post the Supreme Court's decision, stating coal allocation since 1993 till 2010 as illegal, triggered strong selling in select stocks like Hindalco and JSPL. Other sectors including power and some mid caps also followed suit," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.

Globally, Asian markets mostly rose on Monday, while the dollar hit multi-month highs against the yen and euro after the US Federal Reserve chief seemed to indicate a shift towards an interest rate rise sooner than expected.

Rupee falls nine paise
Retreating from over three-week highs, the Indian rupee on Monday fell nine paise to close at 60.56 against the Greenback on late profit booking in local equities and fresh dollar demand from oil importers.

However, sustained capital inflows and a weak dollar overseas limited the rupee fall, a forex dealer said. At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic unit commenced lower at 60.52 a dollar from previous close of 60.47. It tried to recover and logged an intra-day high of 60.41 on initial strong rally in local stocks.

However, the rupee met with strong resistance on fag-end profit booking in local shares and renewed dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners, to meet their month-end requirements. It fell back to a low of 60.58 before settling at 60.56, a fall of nine paise or 0.15 per cent.

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