Mumbai, Nov 23 Positive global cues, coupled with short covering and value buying, lifted the Indian equity markets for second consecutive session on Wednesday.
However, the key indices made only marginal gains as a stalemate on the contours of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) continued. Besides rupee depreciation, lower crude oil prices and outflow of foreign funds kept investors sentiment subdued.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged up by 31 points or 0.39 per cent to 8,033.30 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 26,101.33 points, closed at 26,051.81 points -- up 91.03 points or 0.35 per cent from the previous close at 25,960.78 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 26,130.49 points and a low of 25,877.16 points during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bulls -- with 1,922 advances and 665 declines.
On Tuesday, the equity markets closed in the green for the first time after six straight sessions of losses on the back of attractive valuations, along with higher global crude oil prices and positive global indices.
The barometer index was up by 195.64 points or 0.76 per cent, whereas the NSE Nifty edged up by 73.20 points or 0.92 per cent.
"The equity markets ended in the green tracking positive global cues. On the global front, the Asian and the US markets were largely positive," Astha Jain, Senior Research Analyst at Hem Securities, told IANS.
"Global crude oil prices lost their early gains in the second half of trade, after a positive opening."
According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, lower level buying support during the second half of the session led to a positive close.
"IT stocks traded with volatile sentiments throughout the session, while banking, pharma, auto, oil-gas, textile and aviation stocks traded firm on buying support," Desai said.
"Media-entertainment, FMCG, cement and power stocks also traded with firm sentiments on buying support. Healthy recovery from lower levels in second half of the session was seen in most of the sectors."
Notwithstanding, the Indian rupee weakened by 31 paise to 68.57 against a US dollar from its previous close of 68.26 to a greenback
"The demonetisation move as well as the possible US rate-hike next month have led the dollar to gain, with the USD/INR touching its eight-month low during the day," Jain said.
"We are expecting the USD/INR to touch the high of 68.70 in upcoming trading sessions."
In terms of investments, provisional data with exchanges showed that the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 1,023.12 crore, whereas the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased scrips worth Rs 1,254.67 crore.
Sector-wise, the S&P healthcare index surged by 330.08 ponts, followed by the metal index, which rose by 232.24 points, and the capital goods index, which edged higher by 175.06 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE finance index fell by 0.78 points and the telecom index was down a tad by 0.07 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: Lupin, up 5.22 per cent at Rs 1,487; Asian Paints, up 3.87 per cent at Rs 942.50; Tata Steel, up 3.80 per cent at Rs 392.35; NTPC, up 2.63 per cent at Rs 158.25; and Larsen and Toubro (L&T), up 2.16 at Rs 1,357.85.
Major Sensex losers were: Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), down 2.02 per cent at Rs 1,193.25; HDFC, down 1.72 per cent at Rs 1,225.95; Bharti Airtel, down 1.22 per cent at Rs 300.35; Power Grid, down 1.22 per cent at Rs 181.85; and HDFC Bank, down 1.04 per cent at Rs 1,184.90.
Indo-Asian News Service