Millennium Post

Indian markets kick off 2019 on a high... Sensex soars 186 points

Mumbai: Indian equity market kicked off 2019 on a resounding note, with benchmark Sensex closing with 186 points gain Tuesday led by a rally in banking stocks following the Reserve Bank's comments that the banking sector is on a recovery path amid receding impaired assets load.

The 30-share BSE Sensex closed at 36,254.57, rising 186.24 points or 0.52 per cent. Similarly, the NSE Nifty ended at 10,910.10, gaining 47.55 points or 0.44 per cent.

For better part of the day, both benchmarks Sensex and Nifty carried a negative bias but fag-end buying in financial and IT counters lifted the sentiment.

Leading the Sensex chart, Bharti Airtel shares rose 2.76 per cent, followed by HDFC (2.01 per cent) and Yes Bank (1.38 per cent).

Among the losers were Mahindra and Mahindra, Tata Steel, ONGC, HUL, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, NTPC, Asian Paints, Vedanta, HCL Tech — falling as much as 3.75 per cent.

Analysts attributed the rise in banking stocks to the Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das' statement that the banking sector is on "course to recovery" as the afflicting non-performing assets recede. The asset quality of banks showed improvement with gross non-performing assets' (GNPAs) ratio declining to 10.8 per cent in September 2018 from 11.5 per cent in March 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in its Financial Stability Report Monday.

Capping off 2018 on a high note, both Sensex and Nifty clocked gains for the third straight year in a row amid positive cues from global markets and strengthening rupee. On an annual basis, the Sensex rose 2,011 points, or 5.9 per cent, in 2018; while the Nifty climbed 332 points, or 3.2 per cent, for the year.

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