Mumbai, March 16 (IANS) After opening flat and dipping into negative territory, key Indian equity market indices ended higher on Wednesday as investors dropped caution ahead of another crucial meeting of the US Federal Reserve later in the evening.
A benchmark index for Indian equities, the sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 24,537.61 points, closed at 24,682.48 points — up 131.31 points, or 0.53 percent over the previous day’s close at 24,551.17 points.
It touched a high of 24,706.85 points and a low of 24,354.55 points in the day’s trade.
The wider Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also closed 38.15 points or 0.51 percent higher at 7,498.75 points.
“The market smartly reversed from its day’s low as Investors factored the consensus of no rate hike in Fed policy action later today. The glimpse of positive recovery in Europe has also favoured the market sentiment. On the other hand, oil prices rallied on hope of an output freeze on its April meeting,” said Vinod Nair, head-fundamental research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
“Both the Sensex and the Nifty hit their lowest level in almost two weeks and erased most of the gains that they had garnered since the beginning of this month. However, a late recovery in the last one hour of trade helped markets recoup all of its losses to finally close the day with nearly 0.5 percent gains,” said Shreyash Devalkar, fund manager – equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.
The 100-scrip and 200-scrip indices of the BSE were higher by 0.32 percent and 0.23 percent, respectively. The mid-cap index was lower by 0.41 percent and small-cap stocks was down by 0.17 percent.
In Wednesday’s trade, heavy selling pressure was seen in consumer durables, telecom and metal sectors and good buying was observed in banking sector.
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE bankex gained by 0.88 percent, while consumer durables index tanked by 3.61 percent, telecom index dropped by 1.10 percent and metal index slipped by 0.77 percent.
The major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: ICICI Bank, up 2.30 percent at Rs.226.45; ITC, up 1.66 percent at Rs.322.10; Infosys, up 1.56 percent at Rs.1152.00; and Cipla, up 1.52 percent at Rs.532.65.
The losers were: Asian Paints, down 2.17 percent at Rs.866.85 and Bharti Airtel, down 1.16 percent at Rs.339.65.
Among the Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei was lower by 0.83 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lower by 0.15 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index ended higher by 0.21 percent.
In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was higher by 0.20 percent, France’s CAC 40 was up by 0.26 percent and Germany’s DAX Index was up by 0.56 percent at the closing of the Indian markets.