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Sensex hits 50,000: A roller coaster ride of 9,000% in 34 years

The index gained 15.75% in 2020 despite falling to its multiyear low in March when coronavirus threat roiled the Indian equity market

Aseem Thapliyal | January 21, 2021 | Updated 11:51 IST
Sensex hits 50,000: A roller coaster ride of 9,000% in 34 years
The index, which was formed in 1986, comprised 30 companies that time and had its base year as 1979

Benchmark Sensex hit the historic 50,000 mark in early trade today.  The index rose to 50,126 points, a  fresh all-time high. Sensex has risen a whopping 9,000% since its inception in 1986 to touch the historic 50k milestone today. The index when it started comprised 30 companies and had its base year as 1979.

The initial value of Sensex on 3 April 1979 was 124.15. On January 2, 1986, the value of the index stood at 549.43.

The index has risen from 549.43 on January 2, 1986 to 50K today. If a Sensex exchange traded fund (ETF) had existed on January 2, 1986 and one would have invested Rs 1,000 into it, the amount would have become Rs 91,000 today.

Four years after the launch, Sensex crossed the 1,000 mark in 1990 on the back of good monsoon and corporate earnings.

On July 25, 1990, Sensex crossed 1,000 mark for the first time closing at 1,007.97.

Few would have imagined that the index would reach 4,000 within the next two years.

Harshad Mehta's Rs 4,000-crore fraud which artificially inflated share prices triggered an exponential rise in the index to 4,000 points by April 1992. In 1991, Sensex rose 85.8%

However, the index fell back to 2,000 level on June 1, 1992 after the market absorbed the impact of the scam.

The index, which kept searching for triggers for the next phase of bull run, touched 5,000 mark on October 8, 1999 on boost from the global IT sector.

In 2006, Sensex crossed 10,000 led by a sharp rise in commodity prices.  It gained 46.3% during the year.

By 2007 end, the index rose to 20,000 led by a liquidity driven rally on the back of heavy FIIs inflows. The index climbed 46.7% in the same year.

The index hit 21,000 mark in January 2008. However, it nosedived 64% to 8,500 level in October 2008 as subprime crisis roiled global markets. Over all, the index plunged 52.5% during the year.

In July 2009, Sensex regained 15,000 level  with improvement in economic growth. The index added 80% to its value in the same year. By December 2010, FIIs-led rally again took the Sensex near 21,000.

But Sensex fell to 15k in the next one year as European debt crisis led to FIIs pulling out funds from the market. It fell 25.1% in 2011.

The indices again approached 20,000 by December 2012 and continued to rally in 2013 as FIIs poured funds into Indian market.

In 2015, economic reforms and global liquidity pushed the index to 30,000, but the index closed the year at a level of 26,117. Sensex fell 5% in the same year.

In 2020, Sensex ended the roller coaster ride of 2020 at a record closing high, buoyed by positive sentiments in global markets. The index gained 15.75% in 2020 despite falling to its multiyear low in March when coronavirus threat roiled the Indian equity market. The 30-share index closed at a record high of 47,751 on the last trading day of 2020.

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