A rash of good quarterly corporate results, combined with continued foreign portfolio inflows, took share indices to new highs on Thursday.
The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index (Sensex) hit an all-time high of 15,593.31 and closed at 15,550.13, a gain of 1.6 per cent or 248.96 points. The National Stock Exchange's Nifty moved up by 1.39 per cent to 4,562.10.
The market was led by heavyweight Reliance Industries, which is slated to announce its first-quarter results on July 28; Larsen & Toubro, which reported more than doubling of its net profits, and Infosys.
"The numbers look enchanting when you have money in hand," said Gul Tekchandani, a market analyst. "If one were to leave out to some extent the results of the information technology companies that were hit by the appreciating rupee, most of the results have been above or in line with market expectations," he said. "The market seems to extrapolating that if companies can do well in a quarter when the interest rate was higher one can look forward to better things," said Sandeep Neema, a fund manager at JM Financial Mutual Fund.
Cement manufacturer ACC disappointed the markets with less than expected profit numbers as it said the June quarter profit dropped 14 per cent. But shares of ACC rose to Rs 1,150, gaining Rs 17.20 over the previous close. The share has run up from the level of Rs 843 a month ago on hopes that increased demand will drive the profitability of cement companies up. Wipro fell to Rs 494 after the company announced a 17 per cent jump in net profits, which was in line with the guidance the company had given but recovered to close flat at Rs 505. Ranbaxy rose 1.4 per cent to Rs 351.55 as the company said it has doubled its net profit for the first quarter to Rs 263 crore.
"The top 100 companies in India do not have much debt and so there is not much to worry on the interest rate front. The rupee risk is there but I do not expect it to appreciate much further," said Tekchandani.