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Indian equity benchmarks surged to fresh peaks on Monday, extending a winning run to the third trading session in a row. Gains in banking, automobile, metal and consumer goods shares pushed the headline indices higher, but sharp losses in the IT basket limited the upside. Analysts awaited more quarterly financial results from India Inc for domestic cues, after TCS kicked off the earnings season last week.
The Sensex rose 76.7 points or 0.1 percent to end at 60,135.8 and the broader Nifty50 benchmark added 59.8 points (0.3 percent) to settle at 17,955 -- both record closing highs. During the session, both indices scaled all-time highs, with the Nifty crossing the 18,000 mark for the first time.
Among blue-chip stocks, Tata Motors, Coal India, Maruti Suzuki, Power Grid, Grasim, Hindalco and ONGC -- ending between 2.9 percent and 9.1 percent higher -- were the top gainers. On the other hand, TCS, Tech Mahindra, Infosys, HCL Tech, Britannia and Wipro -- down between 1.2 percent and 6.3 percent -- were the worst hit among the 16 laggards in the Nifty50 universe.
HDFC Bank, HDFC ICICI Bank and ITC were teh biggest contributors to the gain in the 30-scrip index.
The market is cheering a combination of factors with the stake sale of Air India being one, AK Prabhakar, Head of Research at IDBI Capital, told CNBCTV18.com.
Stocks such as Tata Power and Coal India are surging on the power shortage theme along with most PSU shares, he said.
Tata Power rose 8.3 percent, IEX 12 percent, Torrent Power 3.1 percent, Power Grid 3.1 percent and NTPC 2.6 percent, giving the BSE power index a 2.6 percent lift. Dry fuel behemoth Coal India's shares jumped 4.4 percent.
India's power shortfall in the first seven days of October was over 21 times the deficit in the corresponding period last year, and more than four times of that in 2019. The shortages in India - the world's largest coal consumer after China - follow widespread outages in China, which has shut factories and schools to manage the crisis.
"Power stocks are in focus due to increasing demand... We are bullish on the sector as it has made a move after a long time and we expect the rally to sustain with a revival in economic activities," Rahul Sharma, Co-Founder of Equity99, told CNBCTV18.com.
The sector is expected to bounce back as the power crisis problem is likely to be temporary, said Sharma, whose top picks are Coal India, PFC and Tata Power.
Reliance Industries shares gave up intraday gains after hitting an all-time high. The stock closed 0.7 percent lower at Rs 2651.2 on BSE. The conglomerate agreed to buy up to 40 percent in Sterling and Wilson Solar through its unit Reliance New Energy Solar.
TCS shares tumbled 6.3 percent for the day to settle at Rs 3,686.5 apiece on the brouse, after the quarterly profit and revenue of the country's largest IT company missed analysts' estimates.
Prabhakar said the TCS numbers were slightly disappointing, "but everything is priced in and the company is likely to sustain growth in the long term". TCS continues to be a multi-year growth story, he said.
The Nifty IT index fell 3.4 percent. Infosys fell 1.8 percent, Wipro 1.4 percent and Tech Mahindra 2.7 percent. The three IT companies are due to post their Q2 numbers this week.