Sensex logs modest gains in volatile trade, all eyes on Fed meet
The BSE Sensex shrugged of its early losses, with IT and telecom stocks leading the recovery, and touched a high of 33,102.74. The gauge finally settled at 32,996.76, showing a gain of 73.64 points, or 0.22%.business Updated: Mar 20, 2018 18:03 IST
Reversing a five-session slide, benchmark Sensex ticked modestly higher in see-saw trade on Tuesday, as investors piled into recently beaten down IT shares amid mixed global cues.
The 30-share index rose about 74 points to end at 32,996.76, while the broader NSE Nifty settled 30 points higher at 10,124.35.
Markets benefited from value buying in recently battered stocks and a mixed trend overseas, as investors focused on new Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s first policy meeting starting later in the day amid concerns of a global trade war, brokers said.
The BSE Sensex shrugged of its early losses, with IT and telecom stocks leading the recovery, and touched a high of 33,102.74. It finally settled at 32,996.76, showing a gain of 73.64 points, or 0.22%.
The index had lost 994.82 points in the previous five sessions on worries over widening current account deficit and possible US Fed rate hike.
The broader NSE Nifty reclaimed the key 10,100-mark and touched a high of 10,155.65, before settling at 10,124.35, showing a gain of 30.10 points, or 0.30%. Intra-day, it hit a low of 10,049.10.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 292.23 crore on a net basis, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold equities to the tune of Rs 191.52 crore on Monday, provisional data showed.
“Market is struggling to rebound from the support level due to redemption and expectation of 25 bps Fed rate hike. India is currently underperforming compared to rest of the world owing to high valuation and risk for downgrade in earnings due to higher interest rate.
“Short covering in IT and pharma stocks on account of weakening rupee led the indices to close on a positive note,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
Most IT shares rose, with Wipro gaining 1.54%, followed by Infosys 1.30% and TCS 1.07%.
Hexaware Technologies spurted 3.75%, Tech Mahindra 3.80%, Persistent Systems 0.85% and HCL Technologies 1.16% after the rupee weakened against the dollar to hit a four-month low of 65.24 (intra-day).
Tata Steel was the biggest gainer in the Sensex pack, advancing 3.17%.
Other gainers were Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy’s, Adani Ports, HDFC Ltd, L&T, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Asian Paints, SBI, Power Grid, HUL, Axis Bank, Maruti Suzuki and Hero MotoCorp, rising up to 2.20%.
Losses in ONGC, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, RIL, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Coal India, NTPC, M&M, IndusInd Bank and ITC capped the gains.
The BSE IT index took the pole position among sectoral indices, rising 1.29%, followed by teck (1.18%), telecom (0.64%), auto (0.49%), power (0.45%), healthcare (0.44%), capital goods (0.43%) and FMCG (0.29%).
However, oil & gas, metal, bankex, PSU, realty and capital goods ended in the negative zone.
Canara Bank slumped 3.84% after the CBI charged its ex-CMD R K Dubey and two former executive directors with cheating and forgery.
The broader markets showed a mixed trend, with the mid-cap index moving up 0.21% and the small-cap index shedding 0.21%.
Globally, there was a mixed trend in Asia coupled with a higher opening in European markets as participants braced for new Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s first policy meeting. Investors have also been worrying about a potential global trade war, triggered by the Trump administration moving ahead with tariffs on foreign steel and aluminium imports.
In the Asian region, Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.35% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.11%, while Japan’s Nikkei ended 0.47% lower.
In Europe, Frankfurt’s DAX inched up 0.19%, while Paris CAC 40 rose 0.26% in their early deals. London’s FTSE too was up 0.37%