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Sensex, Nifty50 scale record closing highs for third day in a row

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RIL, HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel and ITC were the biggest contributors to the gain in the 30-scrip index.

Sensex, Nifty50 scale record closing highs for third day in a row
Indian equity benchmarks extended their record-breaking streak to a third straight session on Thursday amid positive global cues. While buying interest in IT, metal and fast-moving consumer goods shares supported the market, selling pressure in financial stocks played spoilsport.
The S&P BSE Sensex index rose 123.07 points or 0.23 percent to end at 54,492.84 and the broader NSE Nifty50 benchmark gained 35.80 points or 0.22 percent to settle at 16,294.60 -- a third straight day of record closing highs for both gauges.
During the session, Sensex and Nifty50 scaled lifetime highs of 54,717.24 and 16,349.45 respectively.
Investors awaited the outcome of a scheduled monetary policy review by the Reserve Bank of India due on Friday. While the central bank is widely expected to keep the benchmark rates at existing levels for now, Street will keenly watch out for a roadmap for the inevitable policy normalisation.
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Among blue-chip stocks, Bharti Airtel, Eicher Motors, ITC, Tech Mahindra, Tata Steel, JSW Steel, HCL Tech and Tata Consumer -- ending between 1.55 percent and 3.86 percent higher -- were the top gainers.
On the other hand, State Bank of India (SBI), IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, NTPC, IPL and Grasim -- closing between 0.96 percent and 3.28 percent lower -- were the worst hit among the 24 laggards in the Nifty50 universe.
SBI succumbed to profit booking a day after the country’s largest lender beat Street estimates with a net profit of Rs 6,504 crore for the June quarter.
Analysts say optimism on the earnings front, positive macroeconomic data and global cues continued to boost investors' sentiment.
"The recent PMI manufacturing and services data were positive, GST collections were good and oil prices have started to fall. Yields in US came down to 1.17 percent (increasing interest rate difference between India and the US) and FIIs have become net buyers in Indian equities for the past two days," Anita Gandhi, director, Arihant Capital Markets, told CNBCTV18.com.
RIL, HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel and ITC were the biggest contributors to the gain in the 30-scrip index.
Market breadth favoured the bears as 1,197 stocks advanced against 2,031 that declined.
Nifty50 valuations seem to be expensive after the recent outperformance as compared to emerging markets, Pratik Gupta of Kotak Securities told CNBC-TV18.
"Nifty50 is currently trading at about 23 times the current year’s earnings, and almost 20 times the FY23 earnings. India has had a phenomenal outperformance versus other emerging markets... At current valuations, we are a bit cautious right now," he said.
Gupta believes the tapering of bond buys by the US central bank will be the biggest risk to global share markets.
Broader indices continued to underperform their headline counterparts, with Nifty Midcap 100 ending flat and Smallcap 100 falling 0.57 percent.
Cholamandalam Investment, SAIL, Laurus, Caplin Point and Sun Pharma Advanced Research -- ending between 3.90 percent and 6.63 percent higher -- were among the top gainers in broader markets. On the flipside, Dhani Services, Dalmia Bharat, IDFC First, Vakrangee, and Trident - down between 4.02 percent and 5.07 percent - were among the top losers.
Vodafone Idea shares tanked before recovering most of the day's losses after billionaire industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla stepped down as the telecom operator's non-executive chairman.
Meanwhile, European shares clocked all-time highs on strong earnings before trimming gains. The pan-European STOXX 600 index inched up 0.3 percent, extending gains that took it to all-time highs this week. Analysts eyed a policy decision from the Bank of England due later in the day.
Earlier in the day, Asian shares held on to recent gains despite hawkish remarks from a senior Fed official that boosted the dollar while weighing on risk appetite, and uncertainty about Chinese policy.