|The Indian markets on Friday posted their seventh straight weekly advance-longest winning streak since February 2012— as companies continue to report strong earnings for the December 2017 quarter.|
The benchmark Sensex gained 919 points, or 2.7 per cent during the week, biggest weekly jump in nearly a year, buoyed by government's move to cut additional borrowing and hopes of higher foreign direct investment in the banking sectors. The Nifty gained 304 points, or 2.85 per cent. The broader market, however, underperformed with the BSE 500 index gaining only 0.62 per cent. In the past seven weeks, the Sensex has rallied 2,679 points, or 8.2 per cent, while the BSE 500 index has risen 7.3 per cent.
On Friday, the Sensex climbed 0.7 per cent to 35,511.58, while the Nifty 50 added 0.72 per cent to 10,894.7-new all-time highs for both the benchmark indices.
The gains were once again led by banking stocks. “Benchmark equity indices continued their gaining streak taking cues from most Asian markets, positive corporate results and announcements made by the GST council,” said Karthikraj Lakshmanan, senior fund manager - equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.
Profits at ten of the 15 Nifty companies that have reported so far have beaten or matched estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, an early sign that firms may be recovering from a disruption caused by the introduction of the nationwide goods and services tax last July. The government this week slashed levies ahead of the February 1 budget presentation.
"I think we are heading for 11,500 on the Nifty very soon as we have left all that negativity behind," said Purvesh Shelatkar, senior vice president of institutional sales at Centrum Broking. "Results season is better than expectation so far and we are clearly seeing betterment in earnings," he said.
Nifty company profits for October to December are expected to rise an average of 17 per cent from a year earlier, according to Bloomberg estimates, greater than the 13 per cent growth in the previous quarter.
All the 19 sector gauges compiled by BSE advanced, led by the S&P BSE Bank Index's 1.5 per cent rise. The lenders extended gains from Thursday on report that India is considering allowing foreign investors to own larger stakes in them.
"Shares of banks were among the top-gainers following robust corporate earnings declared by two major private banks," said Lakshmanan.
Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone gained up 4.1 per cent-most among Sensex components, Goldman Sachs raised its recommendation on the shares. Software exporter Infosys dropped 0.8 per cent, halting a nine-day rally.