Stock markets scale new heights on US stimulus dose, Brexit deal

Extending gains for the fourth straight session, key stock indices Sensex and Nifty raced to new peaks on Monday in line with broad-based rally in global equities as investors cheered a USD 2.3 trillion US stimulus package and last-minute Brexit deal.

The benchmark index Sensex settled up by 380.21 points or 0.81 per cent at its all-time closing high of 47,353.75. The index also scaled its fresh record intra-day peak of 47,406.72 on the back of gains in banking and energy stocks.

The NSE Nifty ended 123.95 points or 0.90 per cent up at new closing high of 13,873.20. It also touched its all-time intra-day high of 13,885.30.

On the Sensex chart, Titan, SBI, L&T, IndusInd Bank, Ultratech Cement, HDFC Bank, and Asian Paints were top gainers.

Reliance Industries, Kotak Bank, HDFC, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel and ONGC were among the gainers.

While, HUL, Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy and Bajaj FinServ closed with losses. Of the Sensex constituents, 26 stocks settled with gains and 4 with losses.

In the previous trading day on Thursday, the 30-share Sensex had surged 529.36 points or 1.14 per cent to close at 46,973.54. The broader NSE Nifty had zoomed 148.15 points or 1.09 per cent to 13,749.25. Markets were closed on Friday on account of Christmas.

"Indian market started on an upbeat note in the final week of the year owing to positive global cues. The global market cheered the news of the USD 2.3 trillion pandemic stimulus announced in the US and the historic post-Brexit trade deal struck between the UK and EU," Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial services, said.

US President Donald Trump has signed into law a massive USD 2.3 trillion spending bill that includes a USD 900 billion coronavirus relief package, averting a government shutdown and extending coronavirus aid to millions suffering from the economic impact of the pandemic.

Trump initially had refused to approve the legislation for days after receiving it. He had called the bill "a disgrace".

The advancement of rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in India too uplifted domestic sentiments, leading to positive momentum across all the sectors.

"We can expect the momentum to be maintained as investors are focusing more on the positive side of these events and are not worried about the peak valuations and lockdowns triggered by the new strain of virus," Nair said.

Among the BSE sectoral indices, realty rose by 2.65 per cent, metal by 2.25 per cent, consumer durables by 2.19 per cent, industrials by 1.76 per cent and banks by 1.5 per cent.

Broader small cap, mid cap and large cap indices outperformed the benchmark index Sensex, rising by up to 1.49 per cent.

"Domestic equities remained upbeat and gained sharply led by strong rebound in financials and cyclical sectors. Satisfactory progress on vaccination rollout globally, Brexit trade deal and president Trump signing pandemic relief bill in the USA bolstered investors' confidence globally," Binod Modi, Head- Strategy at Reliance Securities said.

Among Nifty constituents, 41 stocks advanced while nine dropped. Tata Motors, JSW Steel, Titan and SBI were among top Nifty gainers, whereas Shree Cement, Sun Pharma, Cipla and Britannia were laggards.

On Nifty, Rohit Singre, Senior Technical Analyst at LKP Securities, said that the broad-based index has decisively crossed 13800 zone which was a good hurdle and managed to close above the same hinting fresh doors are open for 14K mark.

"Good support for the index is still placed at 13820-13770 zone and resistance is coming near 13900-14000 zone," he added.

Modi of Reliance Securities said that domestic equities continue to look good given improved prospects of earnings recovery.

However, considering last week of 2020 (which essentially results in portfolio rebalancing by a number of investors) and F&O expiry, volatility is expected to be high in coming days, he added.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and other key markets ended with significant gains.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude futures rose 1.25 per cent to USD 51.94 per barrel.

On the forex market front, the rupee ended 6 paise higher at 73.49 to the US dollar.

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