Foreign funds were a key to the March rally of key benchmark indices at Indian equities markets as they lapped up stocks worth over $1.5 billion during the month, compared to a paltry $18.97 million in February.
According to the data available with the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI), foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net buyers of equities to the tune of $1,540.36 million (Rs.6,897.80 crore), fuelling an over 9 % increase in the benchmark index of the Bombay Stock Exchange, the 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex).
The Sensex closed March at 19,445.22 points, up 9.09 % or 1,621.82 points from the February end's close of 17,823.4 points. Its peer, the Nifty of the National Stock Exchange too soared 500.5 points or 9.38 % to close March 31 at 5,833.75 points.
Broader indices too rose handsomely. The BSE midcap index gained 7.84 % during the month under review, while the BSE smallcap index moved up 4.58 %.
FIIs had sold stocks worth $1.05 billion in January.
Domestic funds on the other hand seemed to have booked profits in March, with net buys at the end of the month totalling only a meagre Rs.28.3 crore.
"Internals of markets are quite encouraging to stick to positive biasness amidst global concerns. FIIs since sub-5400 levels (of the Nifty) have been significant buyers in cash market and aggressive long builders in index futures," said a note from leading brokerage firm Angel Broking.