RIL, ICICI Bank, HDFC lift Sensex 166 points; Nifty ends above 10600

Mumbai, Apr 24: The market maintained its gradual uptrend despite consistent increase in crude oil prices, as investors continued to focus on corporate earnings especially after stable numbers announced so far. Positive Asian and European cues also aided sentiment.
Index heavyweights Reliance Industries, HDFC and ICICI Bank helped the Nifty close above 10,600-mark for the first time since February 5, 2018, though the pressure in metals and technology stocks capped upside.
The 50-share NSE Nifty rose 29.70 points to 10,614.40 and the 30-share BSE Sensex gained 165.87 points to close at 34,616.64.
Manish Sonthalia, Head Equities— PMS, Motilal Oswal AMC, believes short-covering will drive the markets higher.
“The initial trends from corporate earnings look decent. It remains to be seen how the rest of them perform going forward,” he said in an interview to CNBC-TV18, adding the market could hit new highs in the current fiscal.
On the global front, Asian markets ended mostly higher despite the Dow and the Nasdaq falling amid a decline in tech shares. China’s Shanghai Composite gained 2 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.3 percent while Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.9 percent.
European markets slightly higher, as investors monitored the latest deluge of corporate earnings. Germany’s DAX and Britain’s FTSE were up 0.3 percent each at the time of writing this article.
International oil prices hit their highest levels since late 2014 due to expectations of renewed US sanctions against Iran and as OPEC continued withholding supplies amid strong demand. Brent crude futures were up 0.28 percent at USD 74.92 a barrel and US crude futures were up 0.55 percent at USD 69.02 a barrel.
Back home, the broader markets underperformed frontliners, with the Nifty Midcap falling 0.06 percent on weak breadth. About 1,478 shares declined against 1,179 advancing shares on the BSE.