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​India: indices gain despite central bank’s shifting mood

The Indian stock market trended higher on Friday, February 17. Market players started off enthusiastically on news that India’s central bank decided on Thursday to allow foreign investors to resume buying in HDFC Bank shares. However, today the regulator put these shares on a stop list again as foreign investors’ stake in HDFC Bank exceeded the regulatory threshold. Stock pared gains sharply on the back of that news.

As for BSE components, in addition to financial names, the outperformers included automotive and healthcare stocks, while metals, telecom and IT equities lagged behind the broader market.

The Nifty 50 firmed 0.50% to 8,821.70, and the BSE Sensex closed 0.59% higher at 28,468.75.

By 10:57 GMT, the USD/INR currency pair slipped 0.15% to 67.075, and EUR/INR was 0.31% lower at 71.3786.

The 10-year Indian government bond yield widened to 6.855%.

Among the top performers, Sun Pharma, Tata Motors and Cipla surged 4.03%, 2.04% and 1.58%, respectively. Meanwhile, Infratel, Hindalco and Tata Consultancy Services ended the session in the red, giving up 3.27%, 2.13% and 1.63%, respectively.

As noted above, banking stocks took the lead, with HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank gaining 3.75% and 1.52%, respectively.

Oil and Indiabulls Housing Finance added 2.26% and 2.7%, respectively, as the NSE operator said that the stocks would be included in the index from March 31. Conversely, Idea Cellular and Bharat Heavy Electricals shed 1.67% and 0.07% on news that the names will be delisted from the NSE.

The daily chart shows that the BSE Sensex has broken out of the upper bound of a bullish flag, meaning that the uptrend is likely to continue in the short term.