Mumbai, June 23 (IANS) Increased chances of Britain staying on in the European Union, combined with higher crude oil prices and a strong rupee, buoyed the Indian equity markets on Thursday.
Consequently, the key indices closed the day’s trade with appreciable gains, as healthy buying was witnessed in banking, automobile and healthcare stocks.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged up by 66.75 points or 0.81 per cent, at 8,270.45 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 26,753.20 points, closed at 27,002.22 points — up 236.57 points or 0.88 per cent from the previous close at 26,765.65 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 27,060 points and a low of 26,736.52 points during the intra-day trade.
In contrast, the BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bears — with 1,491 declines and 1,102 advances.
On Wednesday, the key indices closed flat after a volatile trade session, as uncertain global cues, profit booking and a weak rupee depressed investors.
The barometer index fell by 47.13 points or 0.18 per cent, while the NSE Nifty edged down by 16.20 points or 0.20 per cent.
Initially, both the key indices opened on a flat-to-positive note, in-sync with their Asian peers, as investors were seen optimistic that Britain will stay on in the European Union.
A couple of opinion polls in Britain have indicated that the ‘Remain in the EU’ camp has gained momentum. The island nation will announce referendum results on this issue on Friday.
“Short covering helped the equity markets to break free from the lacklustre movements that had gripped the key indices,” Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.
“Strong rupee, higher crude oil prices and expectations of more economic policy reforms also pushed up prices.”
Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, pointed out that though Nifty opened flat, it got a boost from a firm start of the European market.
“Correction was witnessed in USD/INR futures prices which supported the upside sentiments in Nifty,” Desai said.
The Indian rupee strengthened by 23 paise during the day’s trade. It closed at 67.25-26 against a US dollar from its previous close of 67.48-49 to a greenback.
According to Nitasha Shankar, Senior Vice President for Research with YES Securities, Indian VIX (volatility) index dropped after initial gush that suggested odds favoured the ‘Remain in the EU’ camp in Britain’s referendum.
“Broader markets, however, underperformed the headline indices. Midcap index ended marginally higher while smallcap index ended in the red,” Shankar noted.
In terms of investments, the provisional data with exchanges showed that the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought stocks worth Rs 81.87 crore, and the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased scrip worth Rs 203.56 crore.
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE banking index augmented by 324.52 points, followed by the automobile index, which surged by 212.54 points; and the healthcare index gained by 108.34 points.
On the other hand, the realty index fell by 16.75 points, followed by the power index, which slipped by 9.58 points, and the utilities index dipped by 8 points.
Major Sensex gainers during Thursday’s trade were Tata Motors, up 3.28 per cent at Rs 488; Dr Reddy’s Lab, up 2.18 per cent at Rs 3,170.70; State Bank of India (SBI), up 2.16 per cent at Rs 217.40; Axis Bank, up 2.04 per cent at Rs 526.50; and HDFC Bank, up 1.65 per cent at Rs 1,189.75.
Major Sensex losers were NTPC, down 2.10 per cent at Rs 149.05; Cipla, down 1.53 per cent at Rs 476.10; Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), down 0.80 per cent at Rs 2,644.30; ONGC, down 0.21 per cent at Rs 217.80; and Hero MotoCorp, down 0.19 per cent at Rs 3,062.70.