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Markets pare gains in choppy trade, Nifty flirts with 6,000 mark

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Markets pare gains in choppy trade, Nifty flirts with 6,000 mark

The stock markets were off their day’s high but stayed in the positive territory in choppy trade. The NSE Nifty earlier hit the 6,000 mark, the first time since January 6, 2011, after the US House of Representatives approved a deal on the "fiscal cliff", sparking broad-based buying. The NSE benchmark index took 495 trading sessions to regain the level.

At 2.20 p.m., the Nifty was at 5,993.95, up 43 points, while the BSE Sensex was at 19,721.38, a gain of 141 points.

The Nifty has touched a low of 5,982  and a high of  6,006.05 in trade so far, while the Sensex has traded in the 19,686.50 - 19,756.68 range.

"Sustained foreign funds inflows and widespread buying by retail investors, helped Nifty to breach 6,000 point level," said Deepak Pahwa, a Delhi-based stock broker, said.

Banking shares led the gainers as hopes of a January rate cut gathered steam. ICICI Bank rose 1.09 per cent, while State Bank of India traded 0.92 per cent higher. Among others, Indusind Bank jumped 2.82 per cent, Yes Bank (1.98 per cent), Axis Bank (1.85 per cent), PNB (1.75 per cent) and HDFC Bank (0.44 per cent).

Led by gains in these stocks, the Bank Nifty index moved up by 1.06 per cent to 12,788.35.

Axis Bank, Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki, ICICI Bank and Tata Motors were among the 23 BSE 500 stocks that hit new highs in trade today.

Tata Motors shares hit a fresh 52-week high of Rs. 320.85 on Wednesday after Bank of America-Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’ and raised its target price by 26 per cent to Rs. 360.

UBS remains “tactically bullish” on the Indian equity markets for 2013, Gautam Chhaochharia, deputy head of India Research at UBS, told NDTV Profit today.

The global investment bank expects the 50-share NSE Nifty to trade in the 5,500-6,350 range in the first half of the current year, Mr Chhaochharia said, adding that the long-term consumption story is intact but should be underweight for 2013.

According to Motilal Oswal, CMD of Motilal Oswal Financial Services, the new year has begun on a bullish note and market can touch an all-time high before March. "It is a big celebration time for markets. I think it would attract lot of people to the market who are sitting on the fence," Mr Oswal said.

G Chokkalingam of Centrum Wealth Management told NDTV Profit that 2013 will be a good year for markets, and he expects returns of 20 per cent.

Asian stocks rose nearly 2 per cent to hit a five-month high and the dollar fell as both houses of Congress passed a bill to end the "fiscal cliff" crisis that threatened a U.S. recession and roiled world financial markets.

European markets followed their Asian counterparts and rallied on the news, while futures markets pointed to Wall Street doing the same.

London's FTSE, Frankfurt's DAX and CAC 40 in Paris opened between 1.4-1.9 per cent higher, pushing the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 up 1.3 per cent and the MSCI world index 0.8 per cent.

"This is great news for global growth and explains why shares and other growth-related assets are up strongly today," said Shane Oliver, strategist at AMP Capital.

With inputs from PTI, Reuters

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