Fed fuels longest weekly winning streak in Indian shares in six years

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India’s benchmark indexes, Nifty and Sensex, posted their longest weekly winning streak in six years on Friday, extending their rally to record highs, as global markets advanced on elevated bets of a U.S. rate cut by March 2024.

Both the NSE Nifty 50 index and BSE Sensex rose about 2.3% in the week, extending gains for the seventh consecutive week, marking their longest winning run since January 2018.

IT companies, drawing a significant share of their revenue from the U.S., jumped 7.16% this week, logging their best week in 26 months.

The recent surge in domestic equities follows Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s acknowledgment of the risks of delaying rate cuts on Wednesday, bolstering expectations of a 25 basis points (bps) rate cut by March 2024 and fuelling a rally across global stock markets.

“Fed’s newly minted dovishness adds another bullish leg to the market,” said Seshadri Sen and Chinmay Kabra, analysts at Emkay Global.

Higher foreign inflows, hopes of political stability in 2024 and sustained strength in the capital expenditure cycle are expected to contribute further to the strength in domestic equities, they added.

The metal index climbed 5%, led by an increase in global metal prices as the U.S. dollar came under pressure following the Fed’s dovish commentary on future rate trajectory.

A weak U.S. dollar makes metals cheaper to holders of other currencies.[MET/l]

On the day, the Nifty 50 rose 1.29% to 21,456.65 and the Sensex gained 1.37% to 71,483.75.

Infosys, India’s No. 2 IT company, advanced 5.13% on the day and 5.85% on the week, driven by the easing global rate outlook.

Nestle India lost 1.72% after HSBC downgraded the stock, citing high valuations.

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema and Dhanya Ann Thoppil)