The stocks saw a rockier ride today, but in the end, the Sensex ended up for the second day as it climbed 122 points to about 1-week high of 29,531, spurred by SBI and ICICI Bank, ahead of the derivatives expiry tomorrow. The volatility set in after the verdict of the Supreme Court that banned sale and registration of BS-III vehicles. A firming trend in Asia and a higher opening in Europe made the vibes positive, traders said.
After a positive start, the 30-share index rose further to hit the day’s high of 29,554.39 and settled up 121.91 points, or 0.41 percent, at 29,531.43, a level last seen on March 20 when it had closed at 29,518.74. The gauge had rallied 172.37 points in the previous session. The 50-share NSE Nifty ended at 9,143.80, up 43 points, or 0.47 percent, after moving between 9,153.15 and 9,109.10.
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“By the end of the day, short covering ahead the expiry tomorrow helped the market to maintain its positive trend. Additionally, the rupee continued its strong momentum supported by foreign inflows in both equity and debt,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services. SBI made it to the top in the Sensex pack, surging 1.98 percent, in anticipation of a new NPA resolution policy.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today introduced the GST legislations in the Lok Sabha for consideration and passage, which kept investors in good spirits. Automakers lost their way after the Supreme Court banned the sale and registration of new BS-III vehicles after April 1. Hero MotoCorp, Tata Motors, M&M, Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland plunged by up to 3.15 percent. Short-covering of positions — speculators buying stocks that have been sold short — in view of tomorrow’s March futures and options expiry and the rupee racing to a 17-month high of 64.91 against the dollar added to the up move.
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Other prominent gainers were ICICI Bank (1.81 per cent), Bharti Airtel (1.25 per cent), Coal India (1.07 per cent) and HDFC Ltd (1 per cent). On the sectoral front, consumer durables, infrastructure, banking, capital goods, metal, FMCG, PSU, technology and IT stocks made headway. Foreign funds picked up shares worth a net Rs 6,415.30 crore yesterday, as per provisional data. US stocks closed higher yesterday boosted by higher oil prices and solid economic data.
The BSE small-cap and mid-cap indices too rose. Overall 16 stocks from the 30-scrip Sensex gained. The market breadth turned negative as 1,669 stocks ended lower, 1,182 advanced while 237 ruled steady. The total turnover fell to Rs 14,854.52 crore, from Rs 18,978.14 crore yesterday.