The market see-sawed for most part of the day on Wednesday, but ended in the green for the fifth straight session by inching up about 28 points as investors added to their bets amid sustained inflows by foreign funds.
But the gains were somewhat offset by concerns about TCS’ weaker-than-expected margins and slide in oil prices due to oversupply issues.
The 30-share barometer started higher and climbed on top of gains in blue-chips, but profit-booking, a mixed Asian trend and a lower opening of European stocks made sure it did not go too far. In the end, the Sensex settled at 25,844.18, a measly gain of 27.82 points, or 0.11%.
Intra-day, the sensex moved between 25,956.34 and 25,716.81. The gauge had gained 1,143 points in the previous four sessions on the back of positive macro data, including those of inflation, IMD’s forecast of an above-normal monsoon and Infosys’ upbeat revenue guidance.
The NSE Nifty-50 gave up the day’s gains as profit-booking weighed and closed little changed at 7,914.75.
“Indian markets continued to edge higher, but being sandwiched between holidays, momentum was seen missing. Europe’s caution ahead of ECB policy announcement and oil’s decline kept stock surge in check, but it was China’s sharp fall that has brought in caution into the mix,” said Anand James, chief market strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas.
The rupee gave investors more to look forward to after it strengthened to 66.22 against the US dollar on foreign fund inflows amid a weakening American currency overseas on subdued economic data.
Traders said overall sentiment remained upbeat after data this month showed cooling inflation and a forecast for an ‘above-normal’ monsoon offered more room to the Reserve Bank to stay accommodative.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) purchased shares worth a net Rs 977.98 crore on Monday, according to provisional data. The market was closed on Tuesday for ‘Mahavir Jayanti’.
Tata Steel surged the most, up 6.52% at Rs 356.85, followed by Axis Bank (3.13%) at Rs 458.05. HDFC ended 0.98% higher at Rs 1,138.40 after its subsidiary HDFC Standard Life announced plans to launch its IPO in which the company will sell a 10% stake.
However, TCS, the country’s largest IT exporter, stumbled the most by falling 2.79% to Rs 2,451.90.
In the 30-share Sensex pack, 20 rose while 10 fell. The BSE metal index rose the most by climbing 3.77%, followed by consumer durables, infrastructure and power. The broader markets too firmed up, with the small-cap index rising 0.64% and mid-cap 0.10%.
Maintaining its winning streak, DCB Bank shares climbed 10.58% to Rs 97.20 after solid quarterly numbers. In the rest of Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended 0.19% higher while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.93%. Shanghai Composite ended 2.31% down. European markets too were trading in the negative zone, tracking losses across most of Asia.