Breaking a seven-day losing pattern, the Sensex yesterday reclaimed the key 26,000-mark by recovering 61 points, helped by gains in pharma, auto and capital goods.
For the week, the Sensex lost 448.86 points, or 1.69%, while the broader NSE Nifty dropped 153.70 points, or 1.88%. This is their biggest weekly in five, which is since the week ended 18 November. Domestic investors backed up and covering-up of short positions gave equities a push too.
But a weak trend in Asia and a muted opening in Europe cast its shadow. The rupee appreciated 21 paise intra-day against the dollar, to 67.78, which had a positive influence too, brokers said. After a subdued opening, the Sensex dropped as foreign funds liquidated bets ahead of Christmas. But emergence of value-buying later meant it wiped off early losses before settling higher by 61.10 points, or 0.24%, at 26,040.70. The 50-share NSE Nifty ended up 6.65 points, or 0.08%, at 7,985.75 points.
Intra-day, it shuttled between 7,942.05 and 8,022.60. For the major part of the session, both Sensex and the Nifty moved in a tight range in tandem with emerging markets, which remained subdued on sustained foreign fund outflows.
The 30-scrip gauge had lost 718.22 points in the previous seven sessions on sustained foreign fund outflows and fears of a likely hit to corporate earnings due to currency crunch and lack of any major trigger. Cipla surged 4.03%, logging the best gains among 30 Sensex constituents.
It was followed by Sun Pharma with a rise of 2.40%. Other gainers which supported the BSE Sensex include Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto, GAIL, L&T, HDFC Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Bharti Airtel, Asian Paints, NTPC, HDFC, NTPC, Infosys and RIL.
On the other hand, stocks led by Axis Bank, ONGC, ITC, Tata Motors, M&M, ICICI Bank, Tata Steel, TCS, Adani Ports, Wipro, SBI and Dr Reddy’s finished in the negative terrain.
A weak trend at other Asian markets and a mixed opening in European markets also influenced sentiment here. While Japanese financial markets were closed yesterday for a public holiday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.28% and Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.94%.
Among European markets, Frankfurt was up 0.12%, while Paris rose 0.02% in their morning trade but London’s FTSE shed 0.03%. Sectorwise, the BSE capital goods index gained the most by rising 0.87%, followed by consumer durables (up 0.78%), auto (0.28%) and oil and gas (up 0.26%) while realty, healthcare, FMCG and IT ended lower by up to 1.06.
In contrast, the broader markets remained under pressure, with the mid-cap index falling by 0.40% and small-cap index 0.04 %.
Foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth a net Rs 614.40 crore on Thursday, according to provision data.
Meanwhile the rupee yesterday closed on a one-week high against the US dollar, tracking gains in the Asian currencies markets.
The rupee closed at 67.83 per US dollar — a level last seen on 16 December, up 0.24% from its previous close of 67.99. The home currency opened at 67.92 against the US dollar and touched a high and a low of 67.75 and 67.94, respectively. So far this year, it has fallen 2.46%.
Asian currencies closed lower. Philippines peso was up 0.54%, Singapore dollar 0.35%, Japanese yen 0.17%, Thai Baht 0.14%, Indonesian rupiah 0.13%, Malaysian ringgit 0.06%. However, South Korean won was down 0.31%, Taiwan dollar 0.29%.
In a significant breakthrough that augurs well for the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), both states and the Centre cleared the model GST law on Thursday in the seventh GST council meeting chaired by finance minister Arun Jaitley. All eyes will now be on the more contentious issue of cross-empowerment to scrutinize assesses to be taken up on Friday.
The benchmark 10-year government bond yield closed at 6.544% compared to Thursday’s close of 6.529%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.
So far this year, foreign institutional investors have bought $3.74bn in equities and sold $6.68bn in debt.
The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 103.08, down 0.01% from its previous close of 103.09.
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