Benchmark indices closed on Tuesday ahead of Mahavir Jayanti holiday about 1 per cent up after hitting record highs for the second time in three weeks amid increasing volatility. Though global markets have remained range-bound, several domestic factors have helped buoy the market even amid election uncertainty that has pushed up India VIX volatility index 2.27 per cent high to 21.87 points. VIX has come off a recent high of 22.24 that it hit on the previous day.
Several states will vote in the second round of the seven-phase general election 2019 on Thursday but the positive vibes from survey results showing a strong chance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's return to power have kept the buying interest up. A good start to the earnings season, easing concerns over a weak monsoon and firm foreign inflows have helped to keep the traders' enthusiasm high.
Thirty-share Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex hit a record high of 39,363.93 points around 2:35 pm, about 94 points above the high of 39,270 that it hit on April 3. Around the same time broader 50-share National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty hit a record high of 11,810.70 points, going past the previous high of 11,761 that it made on April 3. Sensex was at 39,259.41 points, up 369.80 points or 0.95 per cent, and Nifty at 11,787, up 96 points or 0.83 per cent, at the market close.
The factors that have contributed to the current rally remains and market observers believe there is further headroom for the indices before the election results.
India Meteorological Department's forecast of a near-normal monsoon has helped the market sentiment that private weather forecaster Skymet's earlier prediction of a below-normal monsoon had dulled. IMD on Monday said the country was likely to have "near normal" monsoon this year with well-distributed rainfall, which could be beneficial for the agriculture sector, according to reports.
Foreign institutional investors (FII) continued to maintain a steady flow of funds remaining net buyers. They have invested up to Rs 65,000 crore in the domestic equity markets so far this year until April 15, Economic Times reported. Exports data showing an 11 per cent rise in March supported by higher growth in pharma, chemicals and engineering sectors have also buttressed the market. Outbound shipments hit $331 billion for FY19, official data showed. Merchandise exports for March stood at $32.55 billion against $29.32 billion year-on-year, reports say.
Technical experts say Nifty is headed north. Brokerage firm ICICI Direct has revised its target upward to 12,800-13,000 for this financial year based on the crossover of 50- and 200-day moving averages indicating a bull market. The fact that Nifty closed above 11,760, seen as a strong resistance level, which could now turn into support for further upward movement, has also caught trader interest.
While 36 of the stocks that constitute Nifty 50 advanced, 13 declined, with two banks, IndusInd Bank and ICICI Bank becoming top gainers rising respectively 3.95 per cent and 3.87 per cent. Top losers were Wipro and Cipla shedding 2.12 per cent and 1.35 per cent respectively.
SpiceJet and Jet Airways were stocks of particular market interest because of the lenders' failure to release emergency funds for the foundering Jet. SpiceJet, one of the major beneficiaries of Jet's travails, opened gap up for the third successive day and hit an intra-day high of 135.80 before closing around 132. Rival Jet Airways tanked 8.10 per cent to close at 241.50 after hitting an intra-day low of 213.