The BSE Sensex darted up 182 points to close just shy of its lifetime high on Wednesday, propelled by index heavyweight Reliance Industries, Sun Pharma and IndusInd Bank. After scaling a new intra-day record of 40,816.38, the 30-share index ended 181.94 points, or 0.45 per cent, higher at 40,651.64.
It is just 2 points shy of its all-time closing high, hit on November 7, 2019. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty closed just below the crucial 12,000-mark, advancing 59 points, or 0.49 per cent, to end at 11,999.10. Reliance Industries led the gains on the Sensex in value terms, settling 2.47 per cent higher after touching its lifetime high of Rs 1,571.85 (intra-day).
The shares have gained after the company’s telecom arm, Reliance Jio, announced it will increase mobile phone call and data charges in the next few weeks, following similar announcements by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea. The market valuation of Reliance Industries, the country’s most valued firm, is fast nearing the historic Rs 10 lakh crore mark.
It ended Wednesday’s session with a market capitalisation of Rs 9,80,699.59 crore. Among other gainers, Sun Pharma rallied 5.73 per cent, IndusInd Bank 5.50 per cent and Yes Bank jumped 2.65 per cent.
L&T, Maruti, Tech Mahindra, ITC and PowerGrid too ended on a positive note. On the other hand, Kotak Mahindra Bank dropped 1.49 per cent, HDFC fell 0.87 per cent and Tata Steel slipped 0.83 per cent. HUL, SBI and Bharti Airtel too finished in the red. On Tuesday, the Sensex had ended 185.51 points, or 0.46 per cent, higher at 40,469.70.
The Nifty rose 55.60 points, or 0.47 per cent, to end at 11,940.10. On the currency front, the rupee depreciated 7 paise (intra-day) against the US dollar to trade at 71.79 in early session. Brent futures, the global oil benchmark, slipped 0.16 per cent to USD 60.81 per barrel. Eleven of 19 sector gauges compiled by BSE were trading higher led by the S&P BSE Telecom index's nearly 3 per cent gain.
Oil & Gas, Energy, Healthcare, Industrials and Capital Goods indices also rose between 1 and 2.6 per cent each. BSE FMCG index was top loser, down 0.6 per cent.
“Markets usually run ahead of macros and price future growth. There are three positive indicators for growth—reduction in corporate tax rate, proposed divestment of large public sector units, and a possible resolution of the US-China trade impasse.
Therefore we see growth coming back in 2020,” said Sanjiv Bhasin, Director, IIFL Securities. Sectorally, BSE energy, healthcare, oil and gas, industrials and capital goods indices rose up to 2.10 per cent.
BSE realty, consumer durables, power, telecom and utilities lost up to 1.36 per cent. Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices gained up to 0.25 per cent.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul settled significantly lower after US President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned that failure to get a trade deal with China will prompt more tariffs.
European equities were also trading on a negative note in their respective early deals. Meanwhile, the Indian rupee depreciated 15 paise to 71.86 against the US dollar in intra-day trade.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, slipped 0.11 per cent to USD 60.84 per barrel.