Indian stock indices remain firm, hover around all-time highs

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NEW DELHI: Indian stock indices continue to remain buoyant, starting Friday’s trade on a positive note. On Thursday, they touched their fresh highs and in the process, with the benchmark Sensex breaching the 66,000 mark.

Sensex and Nifty were about 0.2 per cent higher each at the time of writing this report. They were at 65,685 points and 19,449 points.
31 among the Nifty 50 companies advanced this morning with the rest were in the red. HCL Tech, LTIMindtree, Hindalco, Infosys, Tech Mahindra were the top gainers. Power Grid, HDFC Life, Apollo Hospitals, NTPC, and Axis Bank were the top five losers.

The consistent inflow of foreign portfolio funds, firm economic outlook, firm global markets, and moderation in inflation contributed to the latest bull run in Indian stocks. However, several analysts have been pointing out that any further rally from the current levels is unlikely as valuations are on the higher side.

“This (ongoing) declining dollar is favourable for emerging markets and India being the most-favoured emerging market, the FPI flows are likely to sustain,” said VK Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have remained net buyers in Indian stock markets for the fourth straight month, according to data from the National Securities Depository (NSDL).

FPIs bought Indian stocks worth Rs 7,936 crore, Rs 11,631 crore, Rs 43,838 crore, and Rs 47,148 crore in March, April, May, and June, respectively, data showed.

The constant rise in Indian stock indices is maintained even after the retail inflation data for June showed a considerable uptick.

Bucking the trend, retail inflation in India rose considerably in June to 4.81 per cent, largely due to a sharp spurt in vegetable prices. The inflation index for rural and urban was 4.72 per cent and 4.96 per cent, respectively.

The rise in inflation could partly be attributed to the current spurt in tomato prices across India. The rise in tomato prices is reported across the country, and not just limited to a particular region or geography. In key cities, it rose to as high as Rs 150-160 per kg.

Besides vegetables, meat and fish; eggs; pulses and products; spices indices too saw an uptick.

On the positive side, even though India’s retail inflation in June jumped considerably, it continues to remain within the RBI’s tolerance range (2-6 per cent) for the fourth consecutive month, with forecasts that it would remain so for the rest of the financial year 2023-24.

SBI Research, in its latest ‘Ecowrap’ report, authored by SBI’s Group Chief Economic Adviser Soumya Kanti Ghosh, however, noted that a continued vigil on the evolving inflation outlook is warranted given the erratic progress of monsoon and its impact on Kharif crop sowing, and subsequently on overall food inflation.

Farmers in India have started sowing their Kharif crops. Paddy, moong, bajra, maize, groundnut, soybean, and cotton are some of the major Kharif crops. (ANI)

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