The Indian equity market extended its upward trend for the fifth consecutive trading day on Friday, with the Nifty 50 index closing above the significant 18,000 level, and the Sensex crossing the 61,000 mark.
In April, the benchmark indices recorded their highest monthly gain for the year 2023, indicating a significant increase in performance. This was marked by a strong rally in the auto, banking, and realty sectors, coupled with a sustained inflow of FPIs and a decline in crude oil prices.
The month started off with a bang, and the market showed no signs of slowing down. The Nifty50 climbed by 705.20 points, registering a gain of 4.06% in April, whereas the Sensex surged by 2,120 points, finishing the month with a gain of 3.60%. During April, the Indian markets experienced 10 trading sessions with a positive ending out of 17 sessions.
46 stocks of the Nifty50 index have registered gains in April, while only 3 stocks reported losses. Tata Motors emerged as the top performer during this period with a rally of 20.8%, followed by Adani Enterprises, Bajaj Auto, and Divi's Laboratories. On the other hand, Infosys secured the top laggard position, followed by Tech Mahindra.
Mid-cap and small-cap stocks showed better performance compared to large-cap stocks in April. The BSE small-cap index recorded an impressive growth of 10.54%, while the BSE mid-cap index showed a gain of 7.88%.
The Nifty Realty Index stood as the top-performing index among all NSE indices in April, surging by approximately 19.65%. This increase was attributed to the Reserve Bank of India's recent decision to pause repo rate hikes during its April meeting, which positively impacted the shares of real estate companies. All 10 components of the index have yielded returns in the range of 9% to 55%.
The list is topped by Indiabulls Real Estate, Godrej Properties, followed by DLF, Phoenix Mills, Macrotech Developers, Brigade Enterprises, Prestige Estates Projects, and Oberoi Realty.
Similarly, the Nifty PSU Bank Index saw a surge of 16.83% during the month, resulting in a gain of 48.56% in the last year. In April, all 12 stocks listed on the index achieved double-digit returns.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) continued to be bullish on the Indian markets, pumping in a significant ₹11,630 crore in April, followed by ₹7,936 crore in March.
In April, the Indian rupee appreciated by 0.54% to 81.72 against the US dollar, building on its 0.58% gain from March. So far in 2023, the domestic currency has strengthened by 1.20% against the greenback. Analysts suggest that the rupee could continue to appreciate if the current trend of declining current account deficit in India persists.
At the beginning of the month, analysts predicted that Indian markets would rebound due to attractive valuations resulting from steep underperformance. The high premium that Indian stocks had enjoyed over their Chinese counterparts has also narrowed during this time.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices registered their first monthly gain in April since October 2022. Brent crude futures settled 0.25% higher at $80 a barrel in last the month. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) gained 1.29% to $76.78 a barrel during the same period. Yet, Brent and WTI are still 6.60% and 4.50% down in 2023 so far, respectively.
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