Sensex logs modest gains as metals hit sweet spot

The NSE Nifty ended 0.37% higher at 10,565.30, while the benchmark BSE Sensex closed up 0.28% at 34,427.29.
People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India.(Reuters File Photo)
People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India.(Reuters File Photo)
Updated on Apr 19, 2018 05:48 PM IST
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Press Trust of India, Mumbai | ByPress Trust of India

Benchmarks ticked higher in see-saw trade on Thursday as metal stocks outperformed in tandem with soaring global commodities prices.

The BSE Metal index was the session’s best performer by a wide margin, zooming 4.46%, after global aluminium prices jumped following US sanctions on Russian producer Rusal.

Other metals like nickel also surged over fears of retaliatory action by Russia, while oil prices climbed to three-and-a-half year highs on supply concerns.

On the domestic front, investor sentiment was largely optimistic ahead of quarterly earnings of some key companies, including TCS, brokers said.

The BSE Sensex jumped almost 96 points to close at 34,427.29, while the broader NSE Nifty finished at 10,565.30, up 39 points.

“Metal stocks led the market higher against the backdrop of...higher metal prices. IT sector continued to support the market anticipating better Q4 results. RBI minutes will be seen in the backdrop of the continued ascent in oil prices,” said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services.

The BSE Sensex resumed higher and advanced to 34,478.82, but soon slipped on profit-taking to touch a low of 34,358.91. It finally ended 95.61 points, or 0.28%, higher at 34,427.29.

The gauge had lost 63.38 points in the previous session.

The NSE Nifty 50, after moving between 10,572.20 and 10,546.20, ended at 10,565.30, up 39.10 points, or 0.37%.

On a net basis, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought equities to the tune of 869.70 crore, while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth 915.71 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.

In the metals pack, Nalco, Hindalco, Vedanta, SAIL, JSW Steel, Jindal Steel Hindustan Zinc, Tata Steel and NMDC finished with gains of up to 9%.

IT stocks rose as the rupee hit a fresh seven-month low against the US dollar after international crude oil prices surged.

TCS shares inched up 0.99% ahead of its earnings.

Tata Steel was the biggest gainer among the Sensex constituents, surging 3.17%, followed by Yes Bank 2.83%, Bharti Airtel 2.64% and L&T 1.74%.

Other prominent gainers were Power Grid 1.61%, Dr Reddy’s 1.60%, ONGC 0.74%, Infosys 0.64%, ITC 0.62%, M&M 0.48%, Adani Ports 0.43%, HDFC Bank 0.41%, RIL 0.33% and HUL 0.18%.

On the other hand, Axis Bank fell 0.91%, Coal India 0.77%, Kotak Bank 0.69%, Sun Pharma 0.61% and Hero MotoCorp 0.58%.

IndusInd Bank declined 0.57% despite the lender posting a 27% rise in March-quarter net profit at 953.09 crore

Sector-wise, Metal index surged 4.46%, followed by capital goods 1.06%, infrastructure 0.98%, IT 0.92%, teck 0.88%, realty 0.70%, healthcare 0.63%, FMCG 0.56%, power 0.30% and auto 0.14%.

However, oil and gas tumbled 1.31%, consumer durables 0.86%, PSU 0.37% and bankex 0.04%.

The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.63%, while the Small-Cap index gained 0.60%.

Oil prices edged up following a reported fall in US crude inventories amid the ongoing risk of supply disruptions.

Brent crude oil futures were at $74.14 per barrel, up 66 cents or 0.90%.

Shares of oil marketing companies fell. Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd plunged 6.81%, Hindustan Petroleum Corp 5.78% and Indian Oil Corp lost 4%.

In the Asian region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.40%, Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.84% and Japan’s Nikkei ended 0.15% higher.

European stock markets also rose modestly at open. Paris CAC inched up 0.23%, while Frankfurt’s DAX traded flat. London’s FTSE too was up 0.27% in early deals.

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