Foreign funds’ inflows, short covering lift Indian equities (Roundup)

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Mumbai, March 23 (IANS) Huge inflows of foreign funds, coupled with positive global cues, and healthy buying witnessed in automobile, capital goods and oil and gas stocks lifted the Indian equity markets on Thursday.

Breaking the streak of three consecutive sessions of losses, the key Indian indices closed the day’s trade with gains of more than half a per cent each on the back of short covering.

“The CNX Nifty traded with firm sentiments throughout the trading session due to short covering and closed on a firm note,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose by 55.85 points or 0.62 per cent to 9,086.30 points.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 29,201.01 points, closed at 29,332.16 points — up 164.48 points or 0.56 per cent from the previous close at 29,167.68 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 29,373.79 points and a low of 29,198.08 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls — with 1,709 advances and 1,107 declines.

However, the broader markets outperformed the benchmark indices. The S&P BSE mid-cap index was up by 0.96 per cent, while the small-cap index edged higher by 0.91 per cent.

Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services, said: “The passing of the Finance Bill lent a positive bias to markets, but with hardly any events to fuel further rallies, volatility was reduced to a trickle, and markets stuck to small ranges.”

“Dividend and M&A (mergers and acquisitions) plays continue to hold markets together for now, with Q4 numbers rolling in only a fortnight later.”

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by eight paise to 65.53 against a US dollar from its previous close of 65.45 to a greenback.

In contrast, in terms of investments, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 1,094.44 crore, whereas the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) divested scrip worth Rs 590.78 crore.

On the sector-specific movement, Desai said: “IT, banking, pharma, auto, oil-gas and textile sector stocks traded with firm sentiments, while FMCG, cement and power sector stocks witnessed good recovery from lower levels.”

“Aviation sector stocks witnessed strong buying sentiments throughout the session.”

Sector-wise, almost all the sub-indices of the BSE ended with gains, except the S&P BSE FMCG index, which was a tad lower at 9.41 points.

The S&P BSE automobile index surged by 184.44 points, the capital goods index rose by 165.95 points, and the oil and gas index edged up by 160.49 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: Tata Motors, up 2.59 per cent at Rs 471.80; Gail, up 2.39 per cent at Rs 377.75; NTPC, up 2.27 per cent at Rs 164.35; Wipro, up 1.60 per cent at Rs 509.55; and Lupin, up 1.58 per cent at Rs 1,490.

Major Sensex losers were: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), down 0.81 per cent at Rs 2,458.90; ITC, down 0.66 per cent at Rs 277.90; Bharti Airtel, down 0.35 per cent at Rs 337.30; Hindustan Unilever, down 0.32 per cent at Rs 901.65; and HDFC Bank, down 0.04 per cent at Rs 1,430.70.

–IANS

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