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Easing inflation data lifts equity indices

 Mumbai,  April 16: Healthy macro-economic data, along with expectations of robust quarterly corporate earnings, led the key Indian equity indices to close on a higher note for the eighth consecutive session on Monday.

According to market observers, weak Asian cues on the back of geo-political tensions in Syria led to initial volatility in the domestic bourses.
However, losses were trimmed during the mid-afternoon trade session and the indices moved higher riding on easing wholesale inflation data for March, coupled with healthy buying in healthcare, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and capital goods stocks.
The wider Nifty50 on NSE closed at 10,528.35 points — up 47.75 points or 0.46 per cent from its previous close.
The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 33,944.73 points, closed at 34,305.43 points — up 112.78 points or 0.33 per cent from its previous session’s close.
The Sensex touched a high of 34,341.46 points and a low of 33,899.34 points during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was, however, bearish with 1,463 declines and 1,211 advances.
In the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index edged higher by 0.34 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.56 per cent.
“Markets moved up further on Monday after a weak opening. It was nevertheless the eighth consecutive session of gains and came ahead of the release of first forecast for 2018 monsoon rains by India Meteorological Department (IMD),” Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research for HDFC Securities, told IANS.
“A fall in WPI (Wholesale Price Index) for March to 2.47 per cent also helped sentiments,” he added.
Official data released during market hours showed that India’s WPI inflation softened to 2.47 per cent in March from a rise of 2.48 per cent reported for February and acceleration of 5.11 per cent in the corresponding month of last year.
“Markets in India opened with a gap down as they followed the negative tone set by their Asian peers,” said Abhijeet Dey, Senior Fund Manager, Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.
“However, a bout of volatility and some stable macro-economic updates later, benchmark indices in India regained lost ground to finally close the day with gains.” 
On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 29 paise to 65.50 against the US dollar from its Friday’s close at 65.21. 
In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 308.13 crore, while the domestic institutional investors sold stocks worth Rs 28.97 crore. 
Sectorwise, the S&P BSE healthcare index rose by 151.42 points, followed by FMCG index which rose 102.30 points and capital goods index by 85.04 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE IT index fell by 99.25 points, consumer durables index by 48.57 points and Teck (technology, media and entertainment) index by 46.90 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Monday were: Kotak Bank, up 1.88 per cent at Rs 1,170.05; Hero MotoCorp, up 1.84 per cent at Rs 3,798.05; Bajaj Auto, up 1.81 per cent at Rs 2839.80; Mahindra and Mahindra, up 1.66 per cent at Rs 801.20 per share; and HDFC, up 1.64 per cent at Rs 1,870.70.
The top Sensex losers were: Tata Motors, down 4.96 per cent at Rs 338.95; Tata Motors (DVR), down 4.59 per cent at Rs 193.50; Infosys, down 3.10 per cent at Rs 1,132.80; Wipro, down 1.16 per cent at Rs 289.95 per share; and State Bank of India, down 0.76 per cent at Rs 249.30. (IANS)