Banking stocks continue rally; HDFC Bank hits 52-week high

A woman speaks on her phone while walking past a Bull sculpture outside the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai. The continuing rally in banking stocks has taken many shares to their 52-week high.INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images

Banking stocks have been on an extended rally in March led by Yes Bank with five shares having scaled their 52-week high since the beginning of the month. They are HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, IDFC First Bank and RBL Bank. Sectoral index Nifty Bank rose 2.45 early in the day to touch 28,886 points by 10.30 am.

HDFC Bank set a new 52-week high of 2,247.50 early in the day and consolidated to 2,219 by 10.30 am. The stock had hit its 52-week low of 1,833.50 on March 26, 2018. The largest private sector bank of India has a market cap of Rs 4,75,176 crore. ICICI Bank that made the 52-week high of 393.25 on Wednesday consolidated to 390.85 by noon, coming a long way from the 52-week low of 256.50 hit on July 16 last year. It has achieved a market cap of Rs 2,52,387 crore. Axis Bank scaled the 52-week high of 751 on Wednesday, after having hit the 52-week low of 481.25 on April 18, 2018. The scrip continued to trade around 744 by noon raising the company's market cap to Rs 1,30,863 crore.

The IDFC First Bank was trading at 50.20 by 11 am, having reached the 52-week high of 52.30 on March 6. The scrip that came off its 52-week low of 32.60 on October 8, 2018, is by all appearances on the way to hitting a new yearly high this week. The RBL Bank was trading at 629.20 after having touched the 52-week high of 658.90 on March 11. The share was at its 52-week low of 438.20 on October 23, 2018.

Yes Bank has been leading the banking stocks rally, gaining nearly 4 per cent in morning trade after global investment firm Deutsche Bank revised its price target for the stock upwards to 300 from 280 earlier, according to the MoneyControl website. Opening at 248, the scrip raced to 254 and slid to the intra-day low of 246.15 before bouncing back to trade at 250 by noon. There is considerable investor interest in the stock as it is way off the 52-week high of 404 that it made on August 20, 2018. The 52-week low made on November 29, 2018, was 146.75.

Bombay Stock Exchange building BSE dalal street
Bombay Stock Exchange building BSE on Dalal Street in Mumbai. Reliance Industries hit a new 52-week high on Thursday.Reuters file

Along with banks, the IT, metal, pharma and auto sectors have been trading in the greenwhile fast-moving consumer goods, infra and energy stocks were in the red.

The market reacted early in the day positively to the announcement of Reliance Industries, the operator of the world's biggest refining complex, that it had halted the supply of diluents to Venezuela's national oil company PDVSA until US sanctions on that country are lifted. The stock scaled a new 52-week high of 1,362 on early on Thursday and came off the high to trade around 1,356, having opened the day 1,349.75. The stock found its 52-week low of 880 on March 28, 2018. The performance of the share that is seeing considerable buying interest has helped Reliance Industries achieve a market cap of more than 4,61,156 crore.

IT major Infosys that announced the plan to open a new digital innovation centre in Bucharest, Romania, to focus on developing cutting-edge digital technologies including cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning, saw sparkling interest among traders. The share touched 710.50 after opening at 714.

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