Indian equity benchmarks extended rally for the third straight session on Friday and scaled new all-time highs amid increased optimism on the domestic economy as well as robust U.S. economic data, which eased global recession fear. Adding to it, persistent foreign equity inflows, narrowing current account deficit, and fall in crude oil prices also boosted investor sentiments.

The BSE Sensex surged as much as 678 points, or 1.06%, to hit a fresh high of 64,567 intraday, and the NSE Nifty added 188 points, or 1%, to touch a new high of 19,160, during the session so far. The market capitalisation (m-cap) of BSE-listed firms also hit an all-time high of ₹296.04 lakh crore, breaching its previous high of ₹294.36 touched on June 21.

The market witnessed broad-based rally with all the sectoral indices flashing in the green zone, led by IT and Tech indices, which climbed 2% and 1.7%, respectively. The midcap and smallcap indices gained up to 0.5% and were trading near their 52-week highs.

Out of 30 Sensex constituents, barring ICICI Bank and NTPC, all stocks were trading in positive terrain. Among index heavyweights, Mahindra & Mahindra, IndusInd Bank, Infosys, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, and Tata Consultancy Services were among top gainers.

In the last three sessions, the 30-share Sensex gained as much as 1,505 points, or 2.4%, while the Nifty 50 soared 459 points, or 2.4% during the same period. The m-cap of BSE-listed firms grew by ₹5.37 lakh crore during the period, from ₹290.67 crore on June 26.

On Wednesday, the Sensex and Nifty created history by touching 64,000 and 19,000 levels, respectively, backed by firm global cues, cool off in crude oil prices and strong FII’s inflows. The Nifty started the weekly expiry session with a positive gap (18.817-18,861) and surpassed December 2022 high of 18,887 and recorded fresh all-time high. 

ICICI Securities in its technical outlook said it has maintained a positive stance and expects Nifty to head towards 19,300 in the coming weeks. “The current up move is backed by sturdy market breadth as current 72% stocks of Nifty 500 universe are trading above 200 days EMA which was around 63% during the December high of 18,887, highlighting inherent strength. Thus, we believe current breakout would gradually unfold further leg of the rally as the current rally is broad based. Hence, temporary breather should be capitalised as an incremental buying opportunity.”   

“We expect broader market to relatively outperform wherein small cap would outshine. The Nifty Smallcap250 index has given a breakout from 20-month consolidation. Pattern implication suggest another 20-25% rally over next 12–15 month period,” it added.

Analysts at Prabhudas Lilladher have given targets of 19,200-19,250 levels for Nifty, with most of the frontline heavyweight stocks getting into momentum improving their bias. “Nifty finally has created history by touching the 19,000 landmark making the all-time high level with bias and sentiment maintained strong. Now with near-term support of 18,800 zone, one can anticipate for next targets of 19,200-19,250 levels with most of the frontline heavyweight stocks getting into momentum and improving their bias. The support for the day is seen at 18,850 levels while the resistance is seen at 19,150 levels,” says Vaishali Parekh, Vice President - Technical Research, Prabhudas Lilladher.

As equity markets hit record high, V.K. Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services, has suggested long term and short term investment strategy for investors. “Investors should remain invested in the market. Long-term investors can continue with their systematic investments. Since valuations are rich from the short-term perspective some profit booking can be considered by investors who do not have a long-term time horizon. High quality financials are even now trading at fair valuations,” he said.

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