3:37 PM: Sensex Finally Conquers Mount 40,000

Indian markets rose to record highs today, with both Sensex and Nifty hitting new milestones. The Sensex ended 553 points higher at 40,267, a record closing high. Over the past two weeks, Sensex had hit 40,000 intraday but could not manage to end above that level. The Sensex also hit a new intraday high of 40,308 today. Similarly, Nifty also took out the 12,000 level by settling at 12,088, up 1.4%. Intraday, the Nifty also set a new milestone of 12,103.

India’s benchmark 10-year bond yield dropped below 7% while the rupee also gained as a sharp decline in GDP growth in the March quarter firmed expectations for at least a quarter-point rate cut on Thursday.

India’s economy grew at its slowest pace in more than four years in the January-March period, lagging China’s growth pace for the first time in nearly two years, raising the chances the central bank will cut rates for a third straight meeting.

The continued drop in global crude oil prices amid concerns about a global slowdown as trade war tensions heat up, also aided market sentiment.

Many economists and officials expect the government to push long-pending reforms in the next parliamentary session, beginning on June 17, after its landslide election victory.

“What is more important for markets is monetary policy committee’s guidance that the actual rate action,” said Lakshmi Iyer, chief investment officer (debt) at Kotak Mahindra Asset Management company.

Auto stocks were in the limelight today with the Nifty Auto index rising 2%. Hero MotoCorp shares jumped 6% after the two-wheeler maker posted a sequential rise in monthly sales. Bajaj Auto jumped 4% after reporting higher monthly sales as compared to the same month of the previous year.

Asian Paints, IndusInd Bank, HUL, Coal India, Maruti Suzuki, RIL, HDFC and TCS were among the other top gainers. (All figures are provisional)

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