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Short covering lifts equity indices ahead of US Fed meet

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  21 March 2018 12:00 AM GMT

Mumbai, March 20: Amid volatility, the key Indian equity indices on Tuesday closed in the positive territory on short covering in IT and pharma stocks, even as some caution prevailed ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s meeting slated to begin later in the evening.

The wider Nifty50 of the tiol Stock Exchange (NSE) edged higher by 30.10 points or 0.30 per cent to close at 10,124.35 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at 32,996.76 points — up 73.64 points or 0.22 per cent from the previous session’s close. The Sensex reclaimed the 33,000-mark during the intra-day trade to touch a high of 33,102.74 points.

However, the BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,652 declines and 1,037 advances.

“Nifty bounced back mildly on Tuesday after four sessions of losses. Trading was volatile in a range due to indecisiveness ahead of the US Fed rate review meet,” Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“Broad market indices like the BSE mid-cap index gained less, thereby underperforming the main indices,” he said.

In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index rose by 0.21 per cent, whereas the small-cap index fell by 0.21 per cent. Vinod ir, Head of Research at Geojit Fincial Services, said: “Market is struggling to rebound from the support level due to redemption and expectation of 25 basis points 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.”

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by four paise to close at 65.20 against the US dollar from its previous close at 65.17. In terms of investments, provisiol data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutiol investors purchased scrips worth Rs 344.16 crore and domestic institutiol investors worth Rs 731.17 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE IT index surged by 155.59 points, followed by auto index by 118.15 points and capital goods index by 78.02 points. On the other hand, the S&P BSE oil and gas index declined by 123.23 points, banking index by 115.03 points, and metal index by 61.50 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Tuesday were: Tata Steel, up 3.17 per cent at Rs 593.30; Sun Pharma, up 2.20 per cent at Rs 508.85; Wipro, up 1.98 per cent at Rs 293.75; Dr Reddy’s Lab, up 1.85 per cent at Rs 2157.40; and Adani Ports, up 1.47 per cent at Rs 369.20. The Sensex losers were: ONGC, down 1.42 per cent at Rs 174.10; ICICI Bank, down 1.10 per cent at Rs 291.75; Yes Bank, down 0.92 per cent at Rs 302.05; Reliance Industries, down 0.64 per cent at Rs 889.55; and NTPC, down 0.57 per cent at Rs 166.10. (IANS)

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