Value buying buoys equity markets

Mumbai, March 29 (IANS) Value buying, positive European markets and healthy foreign funds inflow buoyed the Indian equity markets during the late-afternoon trade session on Tuesday.

However, profit booking, unwinding of long positions ahead of derivatives expiry and caution over a likely US rate hike dragged the key equity markets lower through out the day’s trade.

Consequently, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) gained 81 points or 0.32 percent.

Similarly, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded in the positive territory. It rose by 23 points or 0.30 percent, at 7,638.15 points.

The Sensex, which opened at 24,957.24 points, traded at 25,047.07 points (at 2.30 p.m.) — up 80.67 points or 0.32 percent from the previous day’s close at 24,966.40 points.

During the intra-day trade, the Sensex touched a high of 25,053.73 points and a low of 24,835.56 points.

The BSE market breadth favoured the bears — with 1,564 declines and 954 advances.

The barometer index had plunged by 371 points or 1.46 percent during the last trade session on March 28.

Initially, both the key indices of the Indian equity markets opened on a flat note, following their Asian peers. Even commodities like gold, oil and copper prices were standstill at the beginning of the day’s trade.

Market observers cited that profit booking, and unwinding of long positions ahead of the derivatives expiry dented investors’ sentiments.

In addition, caution prevailed ahead of the US Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen’s speech at the Economic Club of New York later in the day.

The speech assumes significance, as it can give further cues on a likely US rate hike next month. Recent US economic growth data has increased chances of a rate hike.

A hike in the US interest rates is expected to lead away Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) from emerging markets such as India.

Besides, upcoming US economic data such as ADP employment report figures and non-farm payroll numbers deterred investors from chasing prices higher.

However, some value buying and positive opening of the European markets supported prices and led key indices to pare their initial losses.

Furthermore, rupee opened on a positive note. The Indian rupee opened at 66.51 to a US dollar from its previous close of 66.56-57 to a greenback.

“Profit booking and unwinding of long positions ahead of F&O (futures and options) expiry dented sentiments. Caution also prevailed ahead of the US Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech and upcoming ADP jobs data tomorrow and non-farm payroll data on Friday,” Anand James, chief market strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.

“Other markets and key commodities were flat. However, markets were able to pare some of their losses due to value buying and positive opening of the European markets.”

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