India’s Nifty, Sensex post longest weekly winning run in three years

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India’s benchmark indexes posted their longest weekly winning streak in three years, as they rallied to record highs on the back of strong macroeconomic data, a drop in oil prices and the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) rate pause.

The NSE Nifty 50 and S&P BSE Sensex indexes rose about 3.5% to log their best week since July 2022. The blue-chip indexes have gained for six straight weeks.

Energy stocks jumped 7.90%, extending gains for the sixth week, on softer crude oil prices.

The fall in oil prices is positive for importers of the commodity like India and its oil marketing companies. [O/R]

Financials climbed about 5% for the week after several analysts reiterated bullish views on the sector in anticipation of a rally before the 2024 general elections.

Factors, including the victory of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in key state assembly elections, elevated bets of U.S. rate cut by March 2024 and favourable liquidity conditions also added to the momentum.

A host of domestic data including faster-than-expected quarterly growth and acceleration in monthly factory activity also aided the sentiment.

The more-domestically focussed small- and mid-caps underperformed the blue-chips this week, but gained 1.16% and 2.35%, respectively, to fresh record highs.

“The valuations in mid-caps are, however, overly stretched. It’s time to sit on some cash and wait for dips,” said Samrat Dasgupta, chief executive of Esquire Capital Investment Advisors.

The small- and mid-cap indexes gained 48% and 41% so far this year, outperforming a 15.8% gain in the Nifty 50.

On the day, the Nifty rose 0.33% to 20,969.40 and Sensex gained 0.44% to 69,825.60, led by financials and information technology stocks.

Rate-sensitive sectors like financial services and realty gained 0.91% and 0.53%, respectively, after the RBI maintained its key repo rate at 6.50%.

“The rate pause will support the existing momentum of residential real estate demand in India,” said Shishir Baijal, chairman and managing director of Knight Frank India.

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee, Dhanya Ann Thoppil, Mrigank Dhaniwala and Eileen Soreng)