Nifty hits 18,000 for first time but ends off day's highs

By Livemint
Nifty hit 18,041.95 at day's high

Indian markets hit new highs today with Nifty hitting 18,000 for first time as gains in Reliance Industries and banking stocks were offset by weakness in IT stocks. But markets have up most of the gains to end slightly higher. After scaling a new intraday high of 60,476, the 30-share Sensex closed 76.72 points higher at 60,135.78. Similarly, the Nifty rose 0.28% to its all-time closing high of 17,945.

"The Nifty scaled mount 18K today led by Reliance, Auto stocks & Power stocks even as the IT Index faced profit booking throughout the day. The broader markets saw heightened activity in exchange stocks with Nifty PSE stocks lending good support. The afternoon session however did see profit booking as stocks do remain vulnerable to earnings disappointment," said S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP securities.

TCS was the top loser on the Sensex, shedding over 6% per cent, after the company’s Q2 earnings missed street expectations.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong and Tokyo ended with gains, while Shanghai was in the red. Stock exchanges in Europe were largely trading with losses in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude rose 2.12% to $84.14 per barrel, putting pressure on the rupee which fell to 6-month low of 75.36 per US dollar. 

“The domestic market continued its bullish run backed by gains in banking, power, realty and auto sectors. However, the indices gave away early gains following weakness in global peers due to rising commodity prices and the upcoming earnings season, compelling investors to trade cautiously," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

"The auto sector continued its outperformance in expectation of demand revival during the festive season and power & renewable energy will continue to be in focus. Banking stocks followed the trend owing to strong business preview numbers and favourable credit growth data. However, the IT sector was under pressure as initial earnings releases failed to meet market expectations," he added. 

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) parent Tata Motors was the biggest gainer on the Nifty 50 index, rising 8.6% to its highest since January 2018. The stock has added roughly 23% this month.

Airline stocks also gained, with the operator of India's largest airline - Interglobe Aviation - advancing 4.4%, while rival SpiceJet added 2.02%.

Energy and utility stocks were also higher, with an 8.3% jump in Tata Power Company driving up Nifty's Energy sub-index 1.08%.

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