Indian stocks rally firm at Tuesday opening bell, Sensex up 500 points

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NEW DELHI: Indian stock indices traded sharply higher Tuesday at the opening bell and were just shy of their all-time highs.

Benchmark indices—Sensex and Nifty—were 0.7-0.8 per cent higher from the Saturday closing. Among the widely-tracked Nifty 50 stocks, 39 advanced and the rest 11 declined at the opening bell.

Among the individual stocks, Cipla, ICICI Bank, Sun Pharma, Power Grid Corp, and Bharti Airtel were the top five gainers, while Asian Paints, Hindustan Unilever, Britania, HDFC Bank, and BPCL the losers, NSE data showed.

On Monday, Indian stock exchanges were closed for trading on the occasion of Pran Pratistha of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

The steam in the Indian stock market this morning was also led by the news that India has pipped Hong Kong to become the fourth-highest equity market globally. The combined value of shares listed on Indian exchanges reached USD 4.33 trillion as of Monday’s close, versus USD 4.29 trillion for Hong Kong, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

India’s stock market capitalization crossed USD 4 trillion for the first time on December 5, 2023, with about half of that reportedly coming in the past four years.

The top three stock markets are the US, China, and Japan.

Cumulatively, the past 12 months have been stellar for investors who parked their money in Indian stocks. Though there has been some turbulence, the calendar year 2023 gave handsome monetary dividends to stock market investors. In 2023 itself, Sensex and Nifty gained 17-18 per cent, on a cumulative basis. They gained a mere 3-4 per cent each in 2022.

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index cumulatively declined 32-33 per cent over the past year, data showed.

Firm GDP growth forecast, inflation at manageable levels, political stability at the central government level, and signs that the central banks world over are done with their monetary policy tightening have painted a bright picture for India – which many agencies have termed to be the fastest-growing major economy.

The strong inflow of funds from foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) lately also supported the stocks to march towards all-time highs. Notably, foreign portfolio investors have again trained their sight towards India, becoming net buyers in the country’s stock market. In the process, it helped Indian benchmark stock indices taste their all-time highs recently.

As Indian stocks rallied, it coincided with a historic slump in Hong Kong, where some of China’s most influential and innovative firms are listed. Going by the news report, new listings have dried up in Hong Kong, with the Asian financial hub losing its status as one of the world’s busiest venues for initial public offerings (IPOs). (ANI)

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