Sensex jumps 323 points as March F&O series opens strong
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Sensex jumps 323 points as March F&O series opens strong

All BSE sectoral indices were in the green, led by healthcare, bank, metal and realty stocks, rising by up to 1.33%

business Updated: Feb 24, 2018 16:26 IST
Press Trust of India, Mumbai
sensex,BSE Sensex,NSE Nifty
A firm trend in Asian markets on positive cues from Wall Street pushed buying activity on the BSE. (Abhijit Bhatlekar/ Mint)

Indian equities notched up their best week this month, with the BSE benchmark Sensex spurting by 323 points to close at a one-week high of 34,142 as March derivative series got off to a strong start amid firm global cues. In addition, the rupee rising to 64.76 against the US dollar (intra-day) and sustained pumping of funds by domestic investors also supported the recovery.

Tracking positive Asian cues and building-up of bets following the beginning of the March derivatives series, the 30-stock index opened positive at 33,832 and rallied to regain the key 34,000-mark.

The Sensex hit the session’s high of 34,167.60, but finally, the gauge settled higher by 322.65 points, or 0.95%, at 34,142.15, a level last seen on February 15.

The index had shed 25.36 points in the previous session.

The broader NSE Nifty also stayed in the positive zone and touched a high of 10,499.10 before closing 108.35 points, or 1.04%, higher at 10,491.05.

For the week, the Sensex recorded 131.39 points, or 0.38%; while Nifty gained 38.75 points, or 0.37%.

“The BSE 30 index bounced back strongly on Friday, even wiping out the losses for the entire week to close in the positive territory. In this week, markets had to deal with weak set of macroeconomic data as trade deficit widened and this was accompanied by decline in INR against the dollar and further firming up of domestic bond yields...” Sanjeev Zarbade, Vice-president-PCG Research at Kotak Securities, said.

Asian markets rebounded as comments from a Federal Reserve official eased worries about faster rate rises in the United States.

Domestic stock markets have been under pressure recently amid continued worries about the fallout from a massive Rs 11,400 crore fraud that hit Punjab National Bank, and concerns that the Reserve Bank could soon move to raise interest rates to check accelerating inflation.

Big gainers that lifted both the key indices are Tata Steel, Sun Pharma, Yes Bank, Bharti Airtel, ONGC, Dr Reddy’s, NTPC, SBI, Axis Bank, TCS, Power Grid, IndusInd Bank, HDFC Bank, RIL, ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank, L&T, Bajaj Auto, ITC Ltd, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp, Adani Ports and HDFC Ltd, surging up to 6.26%.

However, shares of Punjab National Bank has been under selling pressure since the massive fraud detection and lost another 1.09% today.

Shares of Gitanjali Gems too slumped nearly 5% to Rs 24.80 a unit.

All the BSE sectoral indices, led by metal, healthcare, infrastructure, power, bankex and PSU ended in the positive zone with gains of up to 3.16%.

Meanwhile, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) continued their buying spree on the bourses and made purchases worth Rs 1,059.42 crore, while foreign funds sold equities to the tune of Rs 2,335.34 crore on Thursday, as per provisional data.

In the Asian region, Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.72%, while Hong Kng’s Hang Seng rose 0.97%. Shanghai Composite Index too rose 0.63%.

European shares too were in fine shape in their early session. Key indices such as Frankfurt’s DAX was quoting 0.15%, while Paris CAC 40 rose 0.04%. London’s FTSE, however, was down 0.20%.

First Published: Feb 23, 2018 10:27 IST