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Foreign funds, rupee push equities markets margilly higher

Mumbai, Feb 23: Indian equities markets closed on Thursday on a flat-to-positive note as inflow of foreign funds and rupee appreciation buoyed investors’ sentiments. Besides, healthy buying in the telecom sector after Bharti Airtel announced a Telenor India buy out enhanced investors’ risk-taking appetite.

The benchmark indices touched their new closing highs of 2017, even as gains were capped due to derivatives expiry. The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the tiol Stock Exchange (NSE) touched its new 52-week intra-day high. It closed the day’s trade higher by 12.60 points or 0.14 per cent to 8,939.50 points.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 28,927.67 points, closed at 28,892.97 points — up 28.26 points or 0.10 per cent, from the previous close at 28,864.71 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 29,065.31 points and a low of 28,860.46 points during the intra-day trade. However, the BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bears — with 1,574 declines and 1,200 advances. In terms of broader markets, the BSE mid-cap rose by 0.19 per cent and small-cap index was up by 0.11 per cent. On Wednesday, the benchmark indices were lifted by healthy global cues, an exponential rise in Reliance Industries (RIL) stock prices, and buying support in the oil and gas sector.

The NSE Nifty rose by 19.05 points or 0.21 per cent to close at 8,926.90 points, and the BSE Sensex was up 103.12 points or 0.36 per cent at 28,864.71 points. “Markets ended with margil gains on Thursday after a volatile session on the back of derivatives expiry of the February series. The Nifty gained 3.9 per cent over the February series,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“However, major Asian markets ended on a mixed note, while European indices like FTSE 100 and DAX traded lower.” According to other market observers, telecom stocks performed strong following the announcement of India’s largest telecom service provider Bharti Airtel that it has inked a definitive agreement to acquire Telenor India.

“Markets closed higher for the sixth consecutive days even as expiry day saw selling in the last 30 minutes. The sharp move has resulted in both the indices touching their yearly highs before selling on account of roll-over pulled them down,” Vijay Singhania, founder and Director of brokerage firm Trade Smart Online, told IANS. “Bharti Airtel acquired Telenor India’s running operation in seven circles of the country and touched an intra-day high of 10 per cent, but closed the day with a gain of only 1.36 per cent.” On the currency front, the Indian rupee strengthened by 14 paise to 66.83 against a US dollar from its previous close of 66.97 to a greenback. In terms of investments, the provisiol data with exchanges showed that foreign institutiol investors (FIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 392.33 crore, whereas the domestic institutiol investors (DIIs) divested scrip worth Rs 445.04 crore.

Commenting on the sector-specific movement, Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, said: “IT sector stocks traded with firm sentiments banking, whereas pharma, auto, oil-gas, textile, FMCG, cement and power sector stocks traded with mixed sentiments.” “Telecom sector stocks witnessed good buying sentiments and maged to hold the gains.” Sector-wise, the S&P BSE IT index augmented by 173.89 points, followed by the Teck (technology, media and entertainment) index, which surged by 94.06 points, and the consumer durables index, which edged up by 64.31 points. On the other hand, the S&P BSE oil and gas index slipped by 35.37 points, the energy index edged down by 26.96 points, and the power index fell by 15.15 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), up 2.99 per cent at Rs 2,481.65; Wipro, up 2.53 per cent at Rs 485.55; Infosys, up 1.73 per cent at Rs 1,009.05; Bharti Airtel, up 1.36 per cent at Rs 366.05; and ITC, up 0.83 per cent at Rs 265.70.

Major Sensex losers were: Reliance Industries, down 2.07 per cent at Rs 1,182.60; Asian Paints, down 1.10 per cent at Rs 1,008.80; Power Grid, down 1.09 per cent at Rs 199.10; Adani Ports, down 0.87per cent at Rs 297.45; and NTPC, down 0.78 per cent at Rs 165.30. (IANS)