Equities hit a new record high on Monday, buoyed by strong gains in technology stocks ahead of Infosys results while expectations of a reform-oriented budget helped the sentiment remain upbeat for the second straight session. Despite intermittent bout of profit-taking at peaks, the Sensex ended at 26,100.08, up 0.53%, after scaling a new 52-week high of 26,123.55 in intra-day trade. Similarly, the broader 50-share S&P CNX Nifty, after touching 1-year high of 7,792, closed the session with gains of 0.46% at 7,787.15.
Technology shares were the star performers, with the BSE IT index surging 2.63%. Infosys, which would declare its first quarter (April-June) results on July 11, jumped 3.07% while Tata Consultancy Services gained 3.24%.
With the Union Railway Budget slated to be announced today, stocks like Texmaco Rail, BEML, Titagarh Wagons, Kalindee Rail, Hind Rectifiers and Kernex Microsystems rose steeply with most hitting upper circuit. Texmaco ended 13.03% up at Rs 145.70, BEML closed Rs 815.50 (5%), Titagarh Wagons at Rs 330.55 (4.99%), Kalindee Rail at Rs 135.35 (4.96%), Hind Rectifiers at Rs 59.75 (4.92%) and Kernex Microsystems at Rs 73.90 (4.38%).
Most market participants expect a steady to sideways movements till the Union Budget scheduled to be announced on Thursday.
The current week is likely to be dominated by volatile trading session with shades of profit-taking owing to a slew of events lined up. Tuesday marks the beginning of the week long event with the Railway Budget followed by the Economic Survey on Wednesday, the Union Budget on Thursday and the IIP data on Friday.
"The pre-budget rally has now come to an end and one can expect sideways movements till the events are over," said Rahul Shah, vice president at Motilal Oswal Financial Services. Market participants said fresh positions by institutional players are not being created and those who were long have hedged their positions in the futures markets. The Index futures on Monday showed a net sold position of Rs 850.60 crore, indicating that many big players who have bought in cash have hedged in index futures.
"Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) are well poised for an aggressive growth-focused budget. But if the budget announcements fails to meet expectations, one could see a sharp correction," said a senior executive at a foreign brokerage.
FIIs net buying on Monday stood at Rs 198.57 crore while domestic funds were net sellers at Rs 85.22 crore.
Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 30 were gainers while 20 were losers. Major gainers were IDFC at Rs 142 was up 6.01%, Sun Pharma 4.25% (Rs 740) and Tata Power 3.45% (Rs 110.85). Big losers were banking stocks like IndusInd Bank which fell 2.19% at Rs 557. Among other losers, HDFC Bank declined 1.98% to Rs 839.65, PNB fell 1.23% at Rs 968 and Axis Bank was down 1.08% at Rs 1,915.