Equities snap 3-day losses, bargain hunting lifts sentiments (Roundup)

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Mumbai, Feb 21 (IANS) Bargain hunting by investors lifted the key Indian equity indices on Wednesday — a day ahead of futures and options (F&O) expiry, snapping a three-day losing streak.

According to market observers, healthy buying in IT, Teck (technology, media and entertainment) and banking stocks added to the upward trajectory of the benchmark indices.

The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose by 37.05 points or 0.36 per cent to close at 10,397.45 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at 33,844.86 points — up 141.27 points or 0.42 per cent — from its previous session’s close.

However, the BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,624 declines and 1,112 advances.

“Markets bounced back on Wednesday to end with gains after three sessions of losses. The gains came on the back of bargain hunting by investors post 1.30 p.m.,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

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“IT stocks gained after Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies) gave a cautiously optimistic outlook for the Indian IT sector,” Jasani added.

Nasscom on Tuesday said it expects India’s IT exports to grow at 7-9 per cent to $135-$137 billion in 2018-19, projecting exports during the current financial year to be $126 billion — a growth of 7.8 per cent over the previous year.

The apex IT industry body said the domestic revenues, excluding hardware, is expected to grow by 10-12 per cent at $28-29 billion in the next financial year against $26 billion likely in FY2018.

On Wednesday, the Indian rupee strengthened by three paise to close at 64.76 against the US dollar from its previous close at 64.79.

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In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 1,214.18 crore, while domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 1,375.48 crore.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “After a consecutive down trend, today (Wednesday) the market managed to close on a positive note due to the outperformance of IT index and rebound in PSU banks.”

Sectorwise, the S&P BSE IT index surged by 265.73 points, followed by Teck index by 117.15 points and banking index by 81.33 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE metal index slipped by 191.85 points, healthcare index by 168.40 points and consumer durables index by 121.85 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: Tata Consultancy Services, up 3.33 per cent at Rs 3,043.05; ITC, up 2 per cent at Rs 268.05; ONGC, up 1.66 per cent at Rs 190.10; State Bank of India, up 1.28 per cent at Rs 273.10; and Infosys, up 1.23 per cent at Rs 1,148.70.

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Major Sensex losers were: Sun Pharma, down 6.19 per cent at Rs 524.75; IndusInd Bank, down 2.01 per cent at Rs 1,595.30; Tata Steel, down 1.57 per cent at Rs 640.55; Bajaj Auto, down 1.36 per cent at Rs 3,008.25; and Tata Motors, down 1.23 per cent at Rs 364.35.

–IANS

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