Sensex cracks 76,000, Nifty at all-time high ahead of GDP data release, exit polls

Sensex closes marginally down after a highly volatile trading session

Bombay Stock Exchange building in Dalal Street (photo: National Herald archives)
Bombay Stock Exchange building in Dalal Street (photo: National Herald archives)

NH Business Bureau

Dalal Street was on fire on Monday as the Sensex broke 76,000 for the first time with investors anticipating the release of the March quarter GDP statistics on 31 May, Lok Sabha election exit polls on 1 June, and the election results on 4 June. It, however, closed marginally down after a highly volatile trading session.

The 30-share BSE Sensex ended 19.89 points or 0.03 per cent lower at 75,390.50, having climbed 599.29 points or 0.79 per cent to an all-time peak of 76,009.68 earlier in the day. The sharp intraday swings saw the index drop around 835 points from its peak to a low of 75,175.27 as investors booked profits in the last 30 minutes of trade.

The broader Nifty of the NSE also experienced similar volatility, closing 24.65 points or 0.11 per cent lower at 22,932.45. The index hit a new lifetime high of 23,110.80 during the day before tanking approximately 240 points due to selling in oil, energy, and FMCG shares.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries declined nearly 1 per cent, dragging the benchmark indices into the negative territory. Selling pressure in FMCG giant ITC further eroded gains.

Equity benchmarks had been on a record-breaking rally for the third consecutive day ahead of the Lok Sabha election results and a rally in global markets. The general election results will be declared on 4 June, following the GDP numbers for the March quarter on 31 May and exit polls on 1 June.

The Sensex breached the historic 75,000 mark for the first time on April 9 and climbed 1,000 points to reach 76,000 in 31 trading sessions. The BSE benchmark, which had hit the 74,000 level on 6 March, took 21 trading sessions to reach the 75,000 mark on 9 April.

Among Sensex firms, Wipro, NTPC, Sun Pharma, Mahindra & Mahindra, ITC, and Reliance Industries were the biggest laggards, while IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finance, HDFC Bank, Larsen & Toubro, and State Bank of India were the major gainers.

Asian markets in Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong settled in the positive territory, and European markets also traded in the green. Wall Street ended with gains on 24 May contributing to the positive sentiment. Global oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.38 per cent to $82.44 a barrel. However, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) offloaded equities worth Rs 944.83 crore on Friday, according to exchange data.

On Friday, the BSE benchmark dipped 7.65 points or 0.01 per cent to settle at 75,410.39. The Nifty breached the 23,000 mark for the first time on 24 May, but pared all gains to end with a marginal decline of 10.55 points or 0.05 per cent at 22,957.10.

During the recent rally, Bharti Airtel led with a 15 per cent increase, adding Rs 1.13 lakh crore in market capitalisation. Mahindra & Mahindra and Power Grid Corp followed, adding market cap worth Rs 62,000 crore and Rs 54,000 crore, respectively.

Other gainers included SBI, ICICI Bank, and Axis Bank, each adding over Rs 33,000 crore in market cap, while Hindustan Unilever and Tata Steel Ltd contributed nearly Rs 23,000 crore and Rs 12,000 crore respectively.

Conversely, HCL Tech suffered the most, dropping over 12 per cent and shedding around Rs 52,500 crore in market cap. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Titan Co Ltd followed suit, declining by 3 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively, losing Rs 44,000 crore and Rs 3,000 crore in market cap.

Sun Pharma and L&T lost around Rs 27,000 crore and Rs 24,000 crore respectively, while HDFC Bank and Bajaj Finance each saw declines erasing Rs 21,000 crore in market cap during this period. 

In the last two sessions, Indian markets surged to new highs with Sensex and Nifty achieving 76,000 and 23,000 milestones, respectively, following the RBI’s announcement of a special dividend of over Rs 2 lakh crore.

Market optimism is also buoyed by expectations of a government prioritising infrastructure spending, benefiting sectors like industrials, capital goods, utilities, defence, cement, and real estate.

UBS has noted that election impacts tend to fade over time and views equity weakness as buying opportunities, also favouring medium- to long-duration bonds, especially if yields rise post-election.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines