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Domestic equity markets rebounded on Thursday tracking positive global cues and upbeat sentiment in the US markets post healthy earnings of technology companies. Both the Sensex and Nifty gained over 1%, propelled by buying in heavyweights Reliance Industries, Infosys and Hindustan Unilever. The market’s fear gauge — India VIX, further declined 6% to slip below 20 levels at 19.37.

After rallying 971 points intra-day, the Sensex settled higher by 701.67 points or 1.2% at 57,521.06, while its broader peer Nifty-50 closed at 17,245.05, up 206.65 points or 1.2%.

Among the Sensex stocks, HUL was the top gainer and closed 4.5% higher, after the company’s net profit jumped 9% to Rs 2,327 crore on Wednesday. Asian Paints, Power Grid Corp and NTPC were other top gainers in the index.

Siddhartha Khemka, head of retail research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said, “Indian markets made a comeback on account of positive global cues and short covering seen on the day of monthly expiry. Global cues were positive as investors focus shifted on slew of earning releases with heavyweight companies reporting healthy results.” He added that markets currently are reacting to ongoing earnings releases.

Surprisingly, on Thursday, foreign portfolio investors turned net buyers of Indian equities after selling shares worth $3.6 billion so far in this month. According to the provisional data available on exchanges, FPIs bought shares worth $97.2 million on Thursday, while domestic institutional investor bought shares worth $102.1 million. However, experts are of the view that even when the foreign flows have been negative, the domestic flows have absorbed it and held the markets.

Deepak Jasani, head of retail research, HDFC Securities, said, “FIIs continued their selling where they net sold worth Rs 38,000 crore during the April series till now. However, DIIs buying is helping markets where they net bought worth Rs 25,000 crore during the same period. FIIs selling is partially getting absorbed by DIIs.”

All major sectors ended in the green on Thursday amid broad-based buying from investors — with Nifty FMCG gaining more than 2%, and IT, banks up over 1% each. However, the overall market breadth favoured the bears on Thursday, as out of the 3,518 stocks traded on the BSE, 1,788 declined.

Elsewhere in Asia, too, all major indices ended higher on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was the top performer among all other markets, up 1.8%, while Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite gained 1.7% and 0.6%, respectively.



Author: Howard Caldwell