The benchmark indices touched fresh record highs in noon trading as the Budget-driven rally continued unabated for the third consecutive day. At 2:00 pm, the BSE Sensex was trading comfortably above the 50,000 mark at 50,472.30, higher by 673.55 points or 1.35 per cent and the NSE Nifty was at 14,861.25, up 212.35 points or 1.45 per cent. The Sensex had breached the 50,000 mark on Tuesday as well, but had closed a tad lower.
The broader markets outperformed the large-cap counterparts, with the BSE Midcap index and BSE Smallcap index gaining around 1.5 per cent each. All the BSE sectoral indices are trading in the green, with the exception of the realty index. The BSE Healthcare and Metal indices zoomed around 3 per cent each.
The global markets supported the momentum back home; there was green across the Asian bourses, sans China, and European markets also opened higher by 0.7 per cent each across the board on renewed hopes of a stimulus in the United States..
IndusInd Bank galloped 9.3 per cent to Rs 1,066 to top the gainer’s charts on the BSE. Among the sectoral gains, the pharma index rallied more than 3 per cent, with Dr Reddy’s, Sun Pharma, Divi’s Labs and Cipla racing ahead by 4-5 per cent each. And metal stocks were also shining bright, with the likes of Tata Steel, Hindalco and JSW Steel adding 2-3 per cent each on the BSE.
On the other hand, Shree Cements, Maruti Suzuki and Nestle were among the laggards, registering losses in the range of 0.3 per cent to 1.5 per cent each on the BSE.
Among stocks in the news, Future Retail shares shed 5 per cent to Rs 78 after the Delhi court blocked Future Group’s retail asset sale to Reliance Industries on objections raised by e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. Reliance Industries shares, however, recovered from early losses and were trading marginally higher by 0.6 per cent at Rs 1,938.
On the IPO front, Home First Finance made a modest debut on the bourses. The shares of the Mumbai-based affordable housing finance company opened at a premium of 19 per cent at Rs 612.15 on the BSE, as against issue price of Rs 518 per share.
The BSE market breadth was strong. Out of 3,041 stocks traded on the BSE, there were 1,774 advancing stocks as against 1104 declines.