The benchmark Sensex inched up 36 points to close at 31,245.56 as domestic institutional investors stuck to unabated buying in range-bound trade today. After a higher opening, the BSE 30-share gauge advanced to hit a high of 31,284.64 but gave way to profit-booking and hit a low of 31,177.78 before settling at 31,245.56, up 35.77 points, or 0.11 per cent. The gauge had shed 11.83 points in the previous session.
The broader Nifty managed to hold on to its key 9,600- mark and scaled a high of 9,643.65 before finally ending at 9,637.60, up 24.30 points, or 0.25 per cent. Traders opted for small buyings, while stock specific actions led the key indices to remain in positive terrain.
Among the positives from domestic turf, the services sector activity rose to an 8-month high of 53.1 in June. This was driven by a sharp jump in new work orders, hinting at an economic rebound going forward, the Nikkei India PMI survey said today. Shares of Lupin topped the gainers’ list among the Sensex pack, surging 3.82 per cent to Rs 1,084.05 after reports said that the company has launched a generic conjunctivitis drug in the US markets.
“Strong market breadth point towards an encouraging outlook for the market, but anticipations of muted earnings numbers after GST implementation curtailed investors’ confidence which kept the domestic indices range-bound today,” Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services Ltd said.
Favourable GST rollout and an above normal monsoon kept the FMCG and fertilizer sectors buoyant, particularly in the midcap segment. Brokers said the market is expecting PSU banks to pull back from recent falls, which in turn is expected to drive the indices higher.
The broader markets too depicted a firm trend as retail investors widened bets. The BSE small-cap index rose 1.12 per cent and mid-cap index gained 0.97 per cent.
“Markets towed the flat line today as geopolitical concerns surrounding the North Korean launch of a long-range ballistic missile dampened investor sentiment, both at home as well as globally. Marginally positive macro-economic numbers at home failed to bring cheer to the stock markets.
“The FMCG and IT indices on the NSE traded under pressure while the metals, healthcare and media indices eked out gains,” Karthikraj Lakshmanan, Senior Fund Manager – Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund said. Meanwhile, Domestic Institutional Investors (DIIs) remained net buyers, purchasing shares worth Rs 295.88 crore yesterday, while Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 834.36, as per provisional data.
Other major gainers were, M&M (2.24 pc), ONGC (1.69 pc), Asian Paint (1.58 pc), Reliance Ind (1.20 pc), ICICI Bank (1.09 pc), Dr Reddy’s (1.05 pc), Tata Motors (1.03 pc), Axis Bank (0.94 pc) and SBI (0.73 pc). Shares of Reliance Industries surged for the third straight day today to end 1.20 per cent higher at Rs 1,439.80 on expectations of encouraging Q1 earnings scheduled to be declared later this month.
Among BSE sectoral indices, realty gained 1.54 per cent, followed by metal 1.24 per cent, oil&gas 0.88 per cent, capital goods 0.79 per cent, auto 0.71 per cent and PSU 0.70 per cent. However, ITC Ltd fell 1.79 per cent followed by Infosys 0.98 per cent and Wipro 0.90 per cent.
The market breadth remained positive as 1,706 stocks ended in the green, 968 closed in the red and 142 stayed flat. The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 3,139.53 crore, lower than turnover of Rs 3,840.10 crore registered during the previous trading session.
Asian stocks too mostly closed higher, although traders remained on the edge over North Korea tensions. Indices in Hong Kong, Japan, China’s Shanghai, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan gained 0.25 per cent to 1.17 per cent. European markets in France, Germany and the UK were trading higher in early deals.