Indian equities ended in the green for the second consecutive session on March 17 as investors looked forward to getting signs on how the Russia-Ukraine episode will end while clarity around the US Fed rate hikes also offered some stability.
The Russia-Ukraine war continues even as both countries are engaged in talks too. Most Asian markets rose amid signs of progress in peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. The fears of rising Covid cases are also subsiding and giving hopes that China may announce some sort of stimulus to support its economy.
Sensex closed 1047 points, or 1.84 percent, higher at 57,863.93 while Nifty ended with a gain of 312 points, or 1.84 percent, at 17,287.05. Mid and smallcaps underperformed as the BSE Midcap and smallcap indices closed 1.07 percent and 1.18 percent higher, respectively. In the last two weeks, Sensex and Nifty have risen over 6 percent each.
"Positive Global Cues post the Fed rate hike, softening oil prices and progress in Russia- Ukraine talks boosted the confidence of the bulls," said S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP securities.
In the 30-share pack Sensex, only two stocks - Infosys (down 1.81 percent) and HCL Tech (down 0.23 percent) - ended in the red while HDFC (up 5.50 percent), Titan (up 4.50 percent) and Kotak Mahindra Bank (up 3.29 percent) ended as the top gainers.
Among the sectors, BSE IT fell 0.43 percent and Teck index slipped 0.26 percent. Rest all sectoral indices ended in the green with the realty, consumer durables, energy and finance indices jumping up to 3 percent.
More than 100 stocks, including Sun Pharma, Titan, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company, Jindal Poly Films and Tinplate, hit their fresh 52-week highs.
The overall market capitalisation of BSE-listed firms rose to ₹260.4 lakh crore from ₹256.2 lakh crore on March 16, making investors richer by ₹4.2 lakh crore in a day.
The recent rebound has certainly eased some pressure however lingering geopolitical tension combined with an uptick in the Covid case in China will continue to keep the participants on the edge.
"On the index front, sustainability above 17,350 would pave the way for the 17,500-17,700 zone. In case of any decline, the 16,800-17,000 zone would act as a cushion. Participants should focus on sectors and stocks which are showing resilience and align the positions accordingly," said Ajit Mishra, VP - Research, Religare Broking.