Sensex, Nifty scale fresh peaks as inflation cools off

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai. File
| Photo Credit: REUTERS

Equity benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty hit their fresh record levels on Thursday after lower inflation numbers raised hopes of an interest rate cut by the RBI.

Besides, heavy buying in capital goods, consumer durable and industrial stocks also helped the indices, traders said.

Retail inflation continued its downward slide to reach a one-year low of 4.75% in May due to a marginal decline of prices in the food basket and remained within the Reserve Bank’s comfort zone of below 6%, according to government data released on Wednesday.

Rising for the second day in a row, the 30-share BSE Sensex jumped 538.89 points or 0.70 to hit its lifetime peak of 77,145.46. It later ended at a fresh record high at 76,810.90; up 204.33 points or 0.27%.

The NSE Nifty rallied 75.95 points or 0.33% to settle at a new closing high of 23,398.90. During the day, it climbed 158.1 points or 0.67% to its record peak of 23,481.05.

Among the 30 Sensex companies, Mahindra & Mahindra, Titan, Larsen & Toubro, IndusInd Bank, Tech Mahindra, UltraTech Cement, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, Bajaj Finance and Nestle were the biggest gainers.

On the other hand, Hindustan Unilever, Power Grid, Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank and ITC were among the laggards.

In Asian markets, Seoul and Hong Kong settled higher, while Tokyo and Shanghai ended lower.

European markets were trading lower. U.S. markets ended mostly with gains.

“There is good news on the inflation front, both in the U.S. and in India. The takeaway from the inflation numbers is that the disinflation process is well on track. From the market perspective, this is positive news, particularly for banking stocks,” said V.K. Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist, Geojit Financial Services.

Federal Reserve officials said on Wednesday that inflation has fallen further toward their target level in recent months but signalled that they expect to cut their benchmark interest rate just once this year.

The policymakers’ forecast for one rate cut was down from a previous forecast of three, likely because inflation, despite having cooled in the past two months, remains persistently elevated.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude declined 0.71% to $82.01 a barrel.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought equities worth ₹426.63 crore on Wednesday, according to exchange data.

The BSE benchmark climbed 149.98 points or 0.20% to settle at 76,606.57 on Wednesday. The Nifty ended at 23,322.95, up 58.10 points or 0.25%.

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