India’s Nifty 50 hits all-time high; posts best week in five months

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India’s Nifty 50 hit a fresh record high on Friday and logged its best week in five months as strong macroeconomic data added to optimism over the global interest rate outlook.

The blue-chips Nifty 50 and BSE Sensex gained 2.39% and 2.29%, respectively, led by a rise in energy stocks.

Faster-than-expected quarterly economic growth and acceleration in factory growth in November supported the rise in domestic equities.

All 13 major sectors logged gains for the week, while the more domestically-focused small- and mid-caps extended their outperformance over the blue-chips.

“Indian markets are in a sweet spot, boosted by return of foreign inflows, strong macroeconomic data, and easing U.S. rate outlook, among other factors,” said Umeshkumar Mehta, chief investment officer at Samco Mutual Fund.

FPIs snapped a two-month selling streak in November, adding stocks worth 90 billion rupees ($1.1 billion).

Oil & Gas rose 4.38%, and was the top weekly sectoral gainer, aided by a drop in crude oil prices as production cuts agreed by OPEC+ were below market expectations [O/R]

On the day, the Nifty 50 index rose 0.67% to settle at a record close of 20,267.90, while the S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.74% at 67,481.19. The Sensex is less than 1% shy of the record high hit on Sept. 15, 2023.

Among individual stocks, Hindustan Aeronautics climbed 3.46% after an approval from the defence ministry to procure weapons worth 2.23 trillion rupees.

Private lender Axis Bank gained 2.83% to hit a record high for a second session in a row, leading to a 0.75% rise in the bank index.

Indian state assembly elections’ results, due on Dec. 3, could trigger near-term volatility in the markets, three analysts said.

“While state elections are largely a non-event for equity markets from a long-term perspective, there might be some sharp reaction early next week,” said Pramod Gubbi, founder of Marcellus Investment Management.

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema and Mrigank Dhaniwala)