27 Dec 2017 13:23 IST

Sensex scales new peak of 34,123; Nifty hits all-time high of 10,548

Pharma stocks gain for fourth straight session

The benchmark BSE Sensex achieved yet another record on Wednesday by scaling 34,123.14 on the back of a rally in healthcare, metal, power and realty stocks. Domestic equities also tracked Asian shares, which edged higher as a rally in commodities to multi-year peaks pushed resources-linked stocks up.

At 12.30 p.m., the 30-share BSE index Sensex was up 57.69 points or 0.17 per cent at 34,068.30 and the 50-share NSE index Nifty was up 8 points or 0.08 per cent at 10,539.50. The Nifty earlier rose to an all-time high of 10,548.20.

Among BSE sectoral indices, healthcare index gained the most by 2.29 per cent, followed by metal 0.48 per cent, power 0.34 per cent and realty 0.32 per cent. On the other hand, oil & gas index was down 0.19 per cent, IT 0.11 per cent, capital goods 0.06 per cent and banking 0.01 per cent.

Top five Sensex gainers were Sun Pharma (+5.85%), Dr Reddy's (+2.28%), M&M (+1.00%), Tata Steel (+0.59%) and NTPC (+0.59%), while the major losers were ICICI Bank (-0.71%), TCS (-0.6%), Bharti Airtel (-0.41%), ONGC (-0.41%), and Hero MotoCorp (-039%).

Pharma stocks gained for a fourth straight session and were among the top gainers on the NSE index. Shares of Lupin Ltd, Aurobindo Pharma Ltd and Cipla Ltd were up more than 1 per cent each. The Nifty Pharma index rose as much as 2.9 percent

Investors picked up pharma stocks such as Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd that have lagged a broader market rally this year.

“Global liquidity and lack of other attractive investment options are supporting the current global equity rally. Pharma and IT stocks are available at attractive valuations, so some steam is visible there,” said Sumit Pokharna, deputy vice president at Kotak Securities.

Shares of Reliance Communications rallied 25 per cent in Wednesday's trade as the company has unveiled a plan to exit its ongoing strategic debt restructuring exercise and reduce its debt by 87 per cent to about ₹6,000 crore.

Shares of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries jumped as much as 4.4 per cent on Wednesday as the US drug regulator has accepted a new drug application for OTX-101, used in treating dry eye disease.

Domestic equities have touched record highs this month on optimism that the government would continue with its reform agenda following victories in key state elections by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party.

India’s benchmark equity index S&P BSE Sensex closed above the 34,000-mark on Tuesday, capping its longest bull run without a 5 per cent fall in a single year in over two decades. The broader index CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange closed above the 10,500-mark. The Sensex closed at 34,010, and the Nifty at 10,531.

The markets were also supported by fund flows from domestic investors. As per provisional data, domestic institutional investors pumped in ₹544 crore into equities. On the other hand, foreign portfolio investors, most of whom were absent from the markets in the holiday week, were net sellers of stocks worth ₹44.07 crore in the cash equity segment.

Tuesday’s rally in key indices was supported by a 1.69 per cent rise in the share price of Reliance Industries, which has nearly doubled in market capitalisation this year.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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