Equities propel on broad-based buying, cues from Asian markets (Roundup)

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Mumbai, Feb 23 (IANS) The key Indian equity indices on Friday closed at almost a week’s high levels as positive cues from the Asian markets, along with a strong rupee and value buying, uplifted investors’ sentiments.

According to market observers, easing worries of a rate-hike by the US Federal Reserve in the near term, coupled with healthy buying in almost all the sectors — led by metals, banking and healthcare stocks — added to the upward trajectory of the key indices.

The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged higher by 108.35 points, or 1.04 per cent, to close at 10,491.05 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE settled near its day’s high of 34,167.60 points to close at 34,142.15 points — up 322.65 points, or 0.95 per cent, from its previous close.

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The BSE market breadth was bullish with 1,899 advances and 831 declines.

The broader market indices outperformed the Sensex, with the S&P BSE mid-cap index closing higher by 1.47 per cent and the small-cap index by 1.54 per cent.

“Markets surged higher on Friday as the Nifty closed just below the 10,500 levels. The gains came on the back of positive Asian equity markets,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“It was also the first trading session of the derivatives March near-month series. The Sensex and the Nifty settled at over one-week high on broad-based buying,” Jasani added.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee strengthened by 31 paise to close at 64.73 against the US dollar from its previous close at 65.04.

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In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 486.32 crore, while domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 1,514.03 crore.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “Market rebounded amid value buying on beaten down sectors like PSU banks, metal and pharma.”

“Additionally, ease in fears on US Fed rate hike trajectory led the 10-year yield to fall, comforting investors’ sentiment,” Nair added.

All the 19 sub-indices of the BSE closed with gains, led by metals, banking and healthcare sectors.

The S&P BSE metal index rose by 469.96 points, banking index by 356.63 points and healthcare index by 266.85 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Friday were: Tata Steel, up 6.26 per cent at Rs 677.80; Sun Pharma, up 5.17 per cent at Rs 570.20; Yes Bank, up 2.28 per cent at Rs 323.60; Dr Reddy’s Lab, up 2.26 per cent at Rs 2,169.25; and Bharti Airtel, up 2.26 per cent at Rs 425.45.

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The Sensex losers were: Asian Paints, down 1.29 per cent at Rs 1,101.90; Coal India, down 0.48 per cent at Rs 310.45; Infosys, down 0.42 per cent at Rs 1,155.65; Mahindra and Mahindra, down 0.22 per cent at Rs 719.30; and Hindustan Unilever, down 0.16 per cent at Rs 1,323.

–IANS

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