Markets Maintain Momentum Despite Fed Rate Hike; Post Weekly Gains

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New Delhi: The BSE Sensex vaulted over 1,000 points for the second straight session on Thursday, tracking an overall bullish trend in global equities despite the US Federal Reserve hiking rates and signalling further policy tightening to tame inflation.

A reversal in selling by foreign portfolio investors and sustained recovery in the rupee further boosted domestic equities, traders said.

The 30-share BSE benchmark rallied 1,047.28 points or 1.84 per cent to finish at 57,863.93. Likewise, the broader NSE Nifty surged 311.70 points or 1.84 per cent to 17,287.05.

HDFC was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, spurting 5.50 per cent, followed by Titan, Kotak Bank, Reliance Industries, Asian Paints, Tata Steel and Maruti.

Only Infosys and HCL Tech closed lower, skidding up to 1.81 per cent.

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“Global markets welcomed the Fed decision to hike rates by 25 bps as it was on expected lines. However, the Fed’s projection of another six hikes during the year is hawkish.

“FIIs turning net buyers after a long wait was also a relief for the domestic market. With crude prices receding, war tensions calming down and foreign investors back to buying, we can expect the rally in the domestic market to continue,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Markets will remain closed on Friday on account of Holi.

During the holiday-shortened week, the Sensex climbed 2,313.63 points or 4.16 per cent, while the Nifty advanced 656.60 points or 3.95 per cent.

“The markets have been dominated by risk off sentiment in last few weeks due to concerns on high commodity prices owing to Russia-Ukraine crisis and monetary tightening by Federal Reserve. Fed undertook 25 bps hike — first since COVID crisis — and has guided the markets for six more hikes buoyed by the resilience of the economy and strong labour market,” said Hemant Kanawala, Head – Equity, Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance, said.

On the other hand, initiation of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, and continued buying of Russian oil by India and China have provided some relief to commodity prices, though the situation continues to evolve and a resolution is still away, he noted.

Except IT and teck, all BSE sectoral indices finished with gains in Friday’s session, led by realty, consumer durables, energy and finance, spurting up to 3.14 per cent.

The BSE midcap and smallcap gauges jumped as much as 1.18 per cent.

The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday approved a 0.25 percentage point increase in interest rates, marking the first hike since 2018. It also indicated that more hikes would be needed to fight multi-decade high inflation.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong and Shanghai ended with significant gains.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a mixed note in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude rose 3.97 per cent to USD 101.91 per barrel.

The rupee spurted by 41 paise to close at 75.80 (provisional) against the US dollar on Thursday, supported by positive domestic equities and broad dollar weakness.

Foreign institutional investors turned net buyers after their recent selling spree, picking up shares worth Rs 311.99 crore on Wednesday, as per exchange data.

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