Despite a flat opening and mixed signals from Asian markets, Indian market indices surged to unprecedented levels on Wednesday in anticipation of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s two-day testimony regarding the economic outlook and recent monetary policy decisions.
During intraday trading, the 30-scrip benchmark index, Sensex, reached an extraordinary milestone, touching 63,588.31 points, marking a 0.41% increase compared to its previous peak of 63,583 points recorded in December 2022.
Meanwhile, the headline index, Nifty 50, climbed to an intraday high of 18,875.9 on June 21, 2023, coming remarkably close to its all-time high of 18,887.6 points achieved six months earlier.
Reflecting market sentiment, the India VIX, a gauge of market fear, rose by 2.5% to reach 11.4 levels during the ongoing session.
According to S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities, the record-breaking performance of Sensex can be attributed to the sustained growth in capital expenditure by the Indian government, coupled with an upswing in the manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).
Contributing to the positive market sentiment were notable gains from heavyweight companies such as the HDFC twins, PowerGrid Corporation, ONGC, HDFC Life, and Larsen & Toubro. However, JSW Steel and Hindalco emerged as the top losers among Nifty constituents.
Within the Nifty umbrella, sectoral indices exhibited mixed trading patterns, with Nifty Metal experiencing the most significant decline of over 1%, while the banking and financial sectors provided support to the overall market.
At 01:35 ET (05:35 GMT), Nifty Bank registered a modest gain of 0.11%.