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Sensex scales historic 60,000-mark

11:15 PM Sep 24, 2021 | Sulekha Nair

MUMBAI: Key benchmark stock indices maintained their upward trajectory on the bourses and the Sensex finally scaled the summit of 60,000, notching impressive gains in the first half of the trading session.

A combination of factors such as liquidity surplus and the US Fed’s statement on delayed rate hike decision gave investors enough headroom to bet aggressively on stocks, thereby propelling the Sensex to a new intra-day high of 60,333. However, weak opening of European markets and mixed Asian indices prompted investors to trim their position in several frontline stocks resulting in the Sensex ending 163 points higher, or up 0.3 percent, at 60,048.

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The benchmark Nifty also extended gains and closed 30 points higher, or up 0.2 percent, at 17,853. The BankNifty closed with a moderate gain at 37,830.30 levels.

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Among sectors, Realty and IT indices were up 1 percent; while power, FMCG, pharma and metal indices were down 1-2 percent. The BSE Midcap index fell 1 percent.

At the opening bell, the indices soared and hit a new benchmark. The Sensex breached 60,000 in a runaway rally. It jumped 325.71 points, or 0.54 percent, to touch 60,211.07 while the Nifty was up 93.30 points, or 0.52 percent, at 17,916.30.

The time taken for the last 10,000 points was much less (246 days vs the previous 10,000 points taking 609 days). The time taken for the Sensex to gain the last 5,000 points was just 42 days (vs 204 days for the previous 5,000 points)

According to Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail), Kotak Securities Ltd, “The important point is that the index successfully cleared the resistance of 17,800 and is comfortably trading above the same. For the index, 17,775-17,700 could be the important support level. On the flip side, 18,000 and 18,200 could act as a major resistance level.”

This is despite the lacklustre performance in European stocks and Asian markets on Friday — all jittery because of China’s Evergrande crisis and the hawkish tone at Federal Reserve and Bank of England policy meetings.

The buoyancy in the domestic stock markets has been due to three factors, viz: the economy has been opening up and most parameters are reaching pre-pandemic levels. On September 23, Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former deputy chairman of erstwhile Planning Commission, said the Indian economy has bottomed out and the formal sector is likely to get back to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year.

The second factor influencing the markets is waning expectations of a Third Wave of COVID-19. Besides, the vaccination program of the government, which is infusing positivity in the markets.

What does the future portend for the indices and the investors and traders? The indices are soaring, but risks lurk, caution market analysts. The IPO frenzy and retail euphoria in small and mid-cap space are the most significant risks, cautioned Arun Malhotra, founding partner and portfolio manager at CapGrow Capital Advisors. The US tapering, along with signs of commodity-led inflation, is one of the other risks, he added.

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