Equities shrug off US rate hike fears, trade higher

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Mumbai, March 16 (IANS) Indian equity markets traded on a buoyant note during the mid-afternoon session on Thursday, supported by healthy buying in metals, capital goods and consumer durables stocks.

The key indices traded with gains of around half a per cent each, well absorbing the 25 basis points (bps) rate hike by the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday for the second time in three months.

“Indian markets well placed to absorb US Fed rate hike. Gradual approach in future increases augurs well for emerging markets,” Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said.

The Fed hiked lending rates for the third time since the 2008 global financial crisis.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) surged by 49 points or 0.54 per cent to 9,133.80 points.

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The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 29,482.83 points, traded at 29,520.17 points (at 12.30 p.m.) — up 122.06 points or 0.42 per cent from the previous close at 29,398.11 points.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 29,614.79 points and a low of 29,482.83 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of bulls — with 1,665 advances and 909 declines.

“IT, banking, pharma, auto, oil-gas and textile sector stocks traded with firm sentiments due to buying support,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.

“FMCG, cement and power sector stocks also traded with firm sentiments tracking over all buying sentiments in the Indian equity markets.”

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On Wednesday, the benchmark indices were pulled lower by heavy selling pressure in IT and Teck (technology, media and entertainment) stocks, coupled with disappointing macro-economic data.

The NSE Nifty slipped by 2.20 points or 0.02 per cent, to close at 9,084.80 points, while the BSE Sensex was marginally down 44.52 points or 0.15 per cent at 29,398.11 points.



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