NEW DELHI: Festive spirits gave benchmark indices a lift in once-in-a-year Muhurat Trading on Wednesday. Global cues were firm and crude oil prices were stable even as there were concerns over possible crude output cuts by Opec next year.
The BSE Sensex rose 245.77 points, or 0.70 per cent, to settle at 35,237.68. With this, the BSE benchmark has settled higher in 11 of the last 14 Muhurat Trading sessions.
The NSE barometer Nifty50 settled shy of the 10,600 mark. For the day, the index was up 68.40 points, or 0.65 per cent at 10,598.40. Most European markets were trading 1 per cent higher, as mid-term elections in the US failed to spring any negative surprises.
Wednesdays one-hour trading added Rs 1.18 lakh crore to investor wealth as the market capitalisation of the BSE listed companies jumped to Rs 147.10 lakh crore compared with Rs 140.53 lakh crore on Tuesday.
As many as 28 out of 30 Sensex stocks ended higher. Mahindra & Mahindra, Infosys and Tata Motors jumped 1.97 per cent, 1.53 per cent and 1.17 per cent, respectively. Vedanta, Bajaj Auto and Hero MotoCorp gained over 1 per cent each.
Axis Bank (down 0.08 per cent) and Bharti Airtel (down 0.34 per cent) edged lower to end as the worst index performer for the day.
During Muhurat trading, whose timings are decided based on planetary positions, traders retain the age-old tradition of executing trades on Diwali, which is also the first day of the Hindu accounting calendar, Samvat, as it is deemed auspicious to start new business activity in the light of diyas and amid colours of rangoli patterns.
Last year, Muhurat trading was conducted for an hour between 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm, when the Sensex had declined 194.40 points, or 0.60 per cent, to 32,390.
At least 12 of 20 top money managers on Dalal Street, who participated in the Diwali Survey of ETMarkets.com, hope to see the Sensex much higher by next Diwali, with some projections going up to 40,000-45,000 levels.
Most said the market will hit new highs over the next 12 months, while four felt Sensex and Nifty would be either at the same level or go lower by next Diwali.
The average projection for Nifty target by next Diwali came in at 11,755. The bullish argument is largely based on projections of the Modi governments return to power with a solid majority.
Analysts believe the biggest lesson one could pick from Samvat 2074 is that one should not be complacent over market rally at any given point. One should always ensure margin of safety and avoid venturing into momentum plays with no fundamental backing.