Indian stock markets inched higher following an uptick in Asian peers on Wednesday with Sensex climbing 207 points and Nifty reclaiming 10,400-mark. The benchmark Sensex rose 207.77 points to hit the day’s high of 33,911.36. Shares of the fraud-hit Punjab National Bank managed to hold the losses trading little changed at Rs 116.9, up by 0.3%. According to a PTI report, CBI has arrested a General Manager rank officer of Punjab National Bank in regard with the ongoing investigation about India’s biggest banking scam which unravelled at PNB involving fraudulent LOUs (Letter of Undertakings) by the alleged diamond merchant Nirav Modi.
Earlier yesterday, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for the first time broke his silence on the Rs 11,400 crore fraud at PNB saying that the government will chase down cheaters to the end. Shares of Gitanjali Gems continue to be in a free-fall mode for the fifth straight day diving as much as 10% as the jewellery maker was also named in the PNB’s Rs 11,400 crore fraud. The stock of Gitanjali Gems shed 9.85% to hit a 52-week low of Rs 27.45 on BSE.
Almost all the sectoral and broader indices of National Stock Exchange gained in the early trades barring Nifty Metal, Nifty Auto, Nifty Next 50, Nifty Pharma and Nifty Mid100 Free. Other than Nifty 50, sectoral indices such as Nifty IT and Nifty PSU Bank index led the charge zooming up to 1%.
Shares of Dr Reddy’s, TCS, Bharti Airtel, HDFC, Wipro, Reliance Industries emerged as the lead gainers among the Sensex components rising up to 2% while the stocks of Coal India, HUL and Sun Pharma slumped up to 1.5%. Shares of heavyweight companies such as HDFC, RIL, TCS, ITC, Infosys and ICICI Bank contributed the most to the Sensex gains. Collectively these six stocks alone added about 103 points to the index. The S&P BSE Sensex jumped 110.24 points or 0.33% to begin at 33,813.83 while NSE Nifty added 65.6 points or 0.63% to start the day at 10,426.
Meanwhile yesterday, the Dow Industrials and S&P 500 ended in negative territory on Tuesday snapping the six-session winning streak as a sharp decline in Walmart weighed heavily, but gains in Amazon and chip stocks helped the Nasdaq hold near the unchanged mark, Reuters reported. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 254.63 points or 1.01% to 24,964.75, the S&P 500 lost 15.96 points or 0.58% to 2,716.26 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.16 points or 0.07% to 7,234.31.