After a choppy day of trade, the benchmark Sensex managed to eke out gains on Thursday, keeping its winning run for this month intact. The 30-share index has finished in the green on each of the 10 trading sessions this month — its longest gaining streak in nearly three years.
The Sensex rose 52 points, or 0.1 per cent to close at 67,519, while the Nifty50 added 33 points, or 0.2 per cent, to end at a new lifetime closing high of 20,103. The Sensex hit an intraday high of 67,771 to surpass its previous intraday lifetime high of 67,619 made on July 20. The index, however, is yet to make a new record on a closing basis.
Since the Covid-19 lows in March 2020, this is the third time that the Sensex has managed to gain for 10 days in a row -- after September 2020 and December 2020. However, in percentage terms the gains this time around are the lowest. In the previous 10 sessions, the Sensex has gained 4.2 per cent, compared to 7.4 per cent during its 10-day winning run in September 2020 and 6.3 per cent in December 2020.
On Thursday, foreign portfolio investors (FPI) were net buyers to the tune of Rs 294 core. For the month though, FPIs have been net sellers of Rs 5,457 crore, according to NSDL data.
The recent gains have been underpinned by favourable macroeconomic data released this week. Retail inflation moderated to 6.83 per cent in August after reaching a 15-month high in July, primarily due to easing vegetable prices. India's factory output rose to a five-month high of 5.7 per cent in July, up from 3.7 per cent in June, driven by growth in mining and power. Both numbers were released on Tuesday after market hours.
"Overall, we expect the market to maintain its positive trend based on strong domestic macroeconomic data. However, bouts of volatility cannot be ruled out, given mixed global cues. Tomorrow, markets would track US PPI and retail sales data, which would be important for the US Fed rate decision next week," said Siddhartha Khemka, head of retail research at Motilal Oswal Financial Services
The gains on Thursday were broad-based, with the Nifty Midcap 100 rising 1.17 per cent and the Nifty Smallcap 100 going up 1.3 per cent. After posting their biggest fall since December, both indices have seen some stability in the past two trading sessions.
Experts say the markets could be range-bound in the near-term.
"Markets did not witness large-scale buying in index pivotals after Nifty made record highs. Nifty could remain in the 20,168-19,989 band in the near term. A breach of 19,989 could take the Nifty to 19,833," said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities.
On the day, market breadth was strong, with 2,387 stocks advancing and 1,275 declining. Half of the Sensex stocks ended with gains. Infosys, which gained 0.6 per cent, Mahindra &Mahindra, which gained 1.9 per cent, and Tata Steel, which rose 1.6 per cent, were the biggest contributors to index gains.
Realty stocks gained the most, and its sectoral index on the BSE rose 1.5 per cent. The index of BSE's oil and gas and metal stocks rose 1.4 per cent. The rise in metal stocks was attributed to the upwardly revised growth estimate for the domestic steel industry due to the robust government capital expenditure.