Mumbai (PTI): Equity benchmark Sensex climbed 175 points to close above the 56,000-mark for the first time on Friday, driven by strong buying in infrastructure, finance and pharma stocks despite lacklustre global cues.

A strengthening rupee, which surged 53 paise against the US dollar, further bolstered sentiment, traders said.

Staging a smart rebound after a gap-down opening, the 30-share BSE Sensex settled 175.62 points or 0.31 per cent higher at its new closing peak of 56,124.72.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty gained 68.30 points or 0.41 per cent to finish at a record 16,705.20.

UltraTech Cement was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, surging 3.64 per cent, followed by L&T, Dr Reddy’s, Bajaj Finserv, Sun Pharma, TCS, Bharti Airtel and Kotak Bank.

On the other hand, Infosys, IndusInd Bank, M&M, Nestle India, HCL Tech, HDFC Bank and Tech Mahindra were among the laggards, shedding up to 1.07 per cent.

“Indian benchmark indices remained in positive territory even as global markets traded mixed as investors awaited announcements from the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium. Mid and small-cap stocks continued their outperformance while recovery in the metal and pharma sectors guided them to be the sectoral leaders.

“Globally, markets are awaiting comments from the Fed chair on the US economy and clarity on its future policy changes,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

During the week, the Sensex gained 795.40 points or 1.43 per cent, while the Nifty advanced 254.70 points or 1.54 per cent.

“The domestic equity markets remained buoyant during the whole week, with advances seen in the frontline as well as the sectoral indexes. The progress which the markets have made so far is based on the expected performance of the economy, and therefore, of the corporates, mainly against the background of low interest rates and liquidity which is aplenty.

“FIIs have been sellers all the days while the mop up through IPOs stands at close to USD 2.50 billion so far this month. There has been some selling in the midcaps and small caps which stems from the fact that both the indexes have become relatively more expensive, and the large caps looked a shade better,” said Joseph Thomas, Head of Research, Emkay Wealth Management.

All BSE sectoral indices closed in the green on Friday, led by capital goods (2.14 per cent), basic materials (1.69 per cent), industrials (1.58 per cent) and power (1.46 per cent).

The broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices spurted up to 1.04 per cent, outperforming the benchmark.

Global markets were steady ahead of a key speech by Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell where he is expected to provide clues on the US central bank’s timeline to taper its asset purchases programme.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Seoul ended with gains, while Hong Kong and Tokyo settled in the red.

Equities in Europe were trading on a negative note in the afternoon session.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude rose 0.94 per cent to USD 71.74 per barrel.

The rupee rallied 53 paise to close at 73.69 against the US dollar on Friday.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital market as they offloaded shares worth Rs 1,974.48 crore on Thursday, as per provisional exchange data.


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