Reversing its previous day’s losses, the Sensex today staged a comeback to end with a paltry gain of 48 points at 26,643, buoyed by pick-up in infrastructure sector in November coupled with firm global cues. The overall recovery received some support from banking stocks which recouped their losses to an extent after being hit by profitability fears in the wake of lending rate cuts. Core industries expanded but at a slower pace of 4.9 per cent in November than 6.6 per cent in October, which capped the upside.
After a higher opening, the Sensex advanced to hit the day’s high of 26,724.40. But profit-booking later on made the barometer hit a low of 26,488.37 before it closed up 47.79 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 26,643.24. It had lost 31.01 points in the first trading session of 2017 yesterday.
The NSE Nifty also moved up by 12.75 points, or 0.16 per cent, to end at 8,192.25, after moving between 8,219.10 and 8,148.60.
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Investors are closely tracking the 2-day GST Council meet that started today. The Council met representatives of six crucial sectors, including IT, telecom, banking and insurance, to assess implementation hurdles under the new regime.
“Despite being plagued by volatility, benchmark indices in India traded the day on a positive note and closed with marginal gains. Strong opening in Europe coupled with relatively buoyant Asian stocks boosted domestic investor sentiment,” said Karthikraj Lakshmanan, Senior Fund Manager – Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.
A firming trend in Asia after higher Chinese manufacturing numbers and higher opening in Europe contributed to the positive sentiment.
PowerGrid led from the front, with a gain of 2.48 per cent, with Axis Bank notching up 1.90 per cent, Coal India 1.53 per cent, Cipla 1.46 per cent, GAIL 1.10 per cent and ICICI Bank 1.07 per cent.
Bharti Airtel ended with most losses, down 2.36 per cent, after it unveiled a free 4G data plan, followed by Hero MotoCorp 1.44 per cent and Tata Motors 1.23 per cent.
Consumer durables gained the most by rising 3.01 per cent followed by oil and gas (1.96 per cent). PSU rose 1.58 per cent, power 1.04 per cent and infrastructure 0.75 per cent.
The broader markets were also in better shape, with the small-cap index surging 1.03 per cent and mid-cap 0.61 per cent.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.68 per cent while Shanghai Composite index rose 1.04 per cent today while Japanese markets remained closed today for an extended new year holiday.
European shares also joined Asia as Frankfurt’s DAX climbed 0.25 per cent, Paris CAC 0.51 per cent and London’s FTSE 0.80 per cent. Meanwhile, foreign funds net sold shares worth Rs 260.64 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.