Pedestrians look up at an electronic ticker board showing a budget news report outside the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Sensex Heads for Best Month in Three Years as India Stocks Rally

(Bloomberg) -- Indian equities extended gains, with the benchmark index capping its best quarter since June 2018, on the back of a surge in foreign flows.

The S&P BSE Sensex Index advanced 0.3 percent to 38,672.91 at the 3:30 p.m. close in Mumbai, capping a sixth straight week of gains, the longest such streak since August last year. The gauge’s nearly 8 percent rally in March was the best monthly increase in three years. The NSE Nifty 50 Index advanced 0.5 percent to 11,623.90.

Overseas investors have pumped in more than $6.5 billion so far this year -- among the highest in Asia outside China -- on bets of a revival in company earnings and on the prospect of the current government being returned to power after a national election for which votes are counted on May 23.

Strategist View

  • “While the liquidity and events are boosting the market, the upcoming earnings will decide investor judgment on valuations,” said Sanjay Sinha, founder of Citrus Advisors in Mumbai.

The Numbers

  • Sixteen of the 19 sector indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. gained, led by a gauge of metal stocks.
  • Nineteen of the 31 Sensex members and 35 of the 50 Nifty stocks advanced. Mortgage lender Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd.’s 5.8 percent gain was the steepest among Nifty members, its highest since October last year.
  • SBI Life Insurance Co. dropped 5.3 percent, the most in six months, after a BNP Paribas unit sold a 5.07% stake.
  • Wabco India Ltd. rallied 5.1 percent after Germany’s ZF said it will buy parent for $7 billion.

Analyst Notes/Market-Related Stories

  • Vedanta Downgraded to Hold at HSBC; PT 200 Rupees
  • Shriram Transport Cut to Neutral at JPMorgan; PT 1,400 Rupees

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