New Sensex record fails to spread cheer

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 24, 2014 04:01 hrs

The absence of a fresh impetus on Dalal Street and under-performance of most sectoral indices are reasons for the lukewarm response

Typically, business media houses celebrate every new record hit by the Sensex. But on Thursday, when the benchmark index closed at record levels for a consecutive day, the mood was sombre. It reflected the lack of enthusiasm among market participants, far from impressed with the new records, in the absence of fresh impetus on Dalal Street.

The BSE Sensex rose 35.99 points, or 0.17 per cent, to close at a record high of 21,373.66, after swinging between gains and losses for most of the trading session. It surpassed the previous closing high of 21,337.67 hit on Wednesday. The index's all-time high is 21,483.74. The National Stock Exchange Nifty rose 6.70 points, or 0.11 per cent, to close at 6,345.65.

Analysts said the lack of strong moves in stocks or sectors that had performed well recently, coupled with confusion over the broader market's prospects, had resulted in the markets moving indecisively. "Though markets are gradually inching higher with every passing day, the lack of a decisive move is creating hindrance in the minds of market participants. Basically, it is due to the under-or non-performance of most sectoral indices," said Jayant Manglik, president (retail distribution), Religare Securities.

Most information technology (IT) stocks, top performers in the last six months, weakened in the last couple of days. The NSE's CNX IT index fell 0.3 per cent on Thursday. Larsen & Toubro gained 2.8 per cent after the company posted better-than-expected results for the third quarter.

Now, investors are awaiting the Reserve Bank of India's policy review meeting on January 28. While the market is hoping the central bank will keep the benchmark policy rate unchanged, many are even betting on measures to ease liquidity.

On Thursday, foreign institutional investors continued to pump money into Indian stocks, with net purchases of Rs 433.6 crore. Domestic institutions, however, sold shares worth Rs 393 crore. So far this month, FIIs have bought to the tune of about Rs 3,600 crore.

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