Hopes on passage of key economic laws buoy equity markets (Roundup)

Mumbai, Feb 5 (IANS) Hopes on passage of key economic legislations, short-covering and value-buying at the lower levels buoyed the Indian equity markets on Friday.

This led to a barometer index of the Indian equity markets closing the day’s trade on a positive note — up by 279 points.

Initially, both the bellwether indices of the Indian equity markets opened on a flat note, in sync with their Asian peers which closed in the negative territory.

Besides, a weak rupee unnerved investors. It weakened by eight paise at 67.65 to a US dollar from its previous close of 67.57 to a greenback.

“Indian rupee closed around 67.64-65 levels on spot against the US dollar. There was not much of volatility today as traders awaited the January jobs data from US,” Anindya Banerjee, associate vice president for currency derivatives with Kotak Securities, told IANS.

Further, investors were cautious about the upcoming US non-farm payrolls data.

“After a series of weak macro data from US over the past few weeks, there is apprehension that jobs report too may turn out to be weak,” Banerjee added.

A weak jobs data might dissuade the US Fed from raising the key lending rates in March. This expectations gave a positive flip to the markets.

Moreover, markets made healthy gains on the back of short covering and value buying.

In addition, investors were seen hopeful on the passage of several key economic legislations during the upcoming winter session of parliament.

Consequently, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) gained 279 points or 1.14 percent.

Similarly, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) ended the day’s trade in the positive territory. It edged up by 85.10 points, or 1.15 percent, at 7,489.10 points.

The S&P BSE Sensex, which opened at 24,360.36 points, closed at 24,616.97 points — up 278.54 points or 1.14 percent from the previous day’s close at 24,338.43 points.

It touched a high of 24,672.90 points and a low of 24,345.79 points during the intra-day trade.

The S&P BSE market breadth favoured the bulls — with 1,609 advances and 1,029 declines.

“Short-coverings and value buying at the fag-end of the week supported the markets’ gains. Investors were seen hopeful that the central government will be able to get economic legislations passed during the budget session,” Anand James, co-head, technical research desk with Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.

Vaibhav Agarwal, vice president and research head at Angel Broking, elaborated that markets closed higher despite mixed global cues.

“A sharp rally was seen in pharma and metal stocks after a strong set of results from Lupin and media reports of a minimum import price being set for steel products,” explained Agarwal.

Nitasha Shankar, vice president for research with YES Securities, cited that broader markets gained strength in late trade as buying was seen in high beta stock.

“PSU banks witnessed a massive short covering rally, pulling the entire bank index higher. Pharma stocks also gained strength in late trade, recovering from morning declines,” Shankar noted.

All sector-based indices of the BSE ended in the green.

The S&P BSE healthcare index augmented by 522.22 points, banking index zoomed by 355.27 points, automobile index was swelled by 265.69 points, metal index gained by 239.26 points and consumer durables index edged-higher by 138.21 points.

The foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers during the day’s trade, while the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought stocks.

The data with stock exchanges showed that FIIs divested Rs.606.83 crore, while the DIIs’ bought stocks worth Rs.760.02 crore.

Major Sensex gainers during Friday’s trade were Lupin, up 9.04 percent at Rs.1,801.45; Axis Bank, up 4.40 percent at Rs.398.90; Cipla, up 3.58 percent at Rs.569.95; Tata Steel, up 3.47 percent at Rs.234; and Tata Motors, up 3.47 percent at Rs.337.25.

Major Sensex losers during the day’s trade were Gail, down 3.69 percent at Rs.341.50; Maruti Suzuki, down 1.86 percent at Rs.3,723.25; Adani Ports, down 1.58 percent at Rs.211.20; NTPC, down 1.03 percent at Rs.124.70; and Infosys, down 0.42 percent at Rs.1,174.95.

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