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Sensex edges up; investors cautious ahead of Yellen speech


Mumbai : In yet another volatile session, the BSE Sensex today settled nearly 70 points higher, breaching the 28,000-level on mild buying in pharma, IT and PSU counters, but broader market sentiment remained edgy awaiting cues on US interest rate hike this year.

However, covering-up of short positions ahead of tomorrow’s expiry of August series in the derivatives segment gave equities a slight push.

Globally, investors’ focus is on US Federal Reserve Chair Janel Yellen’s speech at the bankers’ gathering in Jackson Hole later this week.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd, said, “The market was volatile within a narrow range and closed on a positive note ahead of the derivatives expiry tomorrow. Global markets were mixed due to uncertainty over the upcoming speech by the chair of the Fed, Janet Yellen, this Friday, which will provide signs of a possibility of a rate hike in the September FOMC meet.”

During the day, after shuttling between 28,108.39 and 27,959.87, the BSE Sensex settled 69.73 points, or 0.25 per cent, higher at 28,059.94.

The gauge had edged up by 4.67 points in yesterday’s choppy session.

The NSE Nifty ended at 8,650.30, showing a gain of 17.70 points or 0.21 per cent, after hovering between 8,661.05 and 8,620.90.

Shares of drug firm Aurobindo Pharma jumped 6.96 per cent to Rs 787.55 after the company yesterday reported a 23.81 per cent rise in consolidated net profit for the first quarter ended June 30.

Maruti Suzuki emerged as the star performer among the 30-Sensex constituents by surging 2.40 per cent higher at Rs 4,949.10, followed by Cipla 1.97 per cent at Rs 565.90.

Other big gainers that supported the key indices were Infosys, NTPC, Sun Pharma, RIL, ONGC, Dr Reddy’s, HDFC Bank, HDFC Ltd, Axis Bank, Power Grid and Wipro, rising by up to 1.97 per cent.

As many as 14 constituents in the 30-share Sensex gained. Sectorwise, oil and gas jumped the most by 1.49 per cent, followed by healthcare 1.30 per cent, PSU 0.71 per cent and power 0.69 per cent.

The broader markets too displayed a firm trend as retail investors widened positions, with BSE small-cap index rising 0.65 per cent and mid-cap 0.61 per cent.

Shares of Welspun India continued its losing streak for the third staight session and tanked 9.95 per cent to hit its lower circuit at Rs 59.30 as the US-based retailer Target Corp has decided to termiante its contract with the company for alleged lapses in product supplies to it.

Foreign funds sold shares worth a net Rs 0.19 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.

Asia and Europe, however, traded mixed as investors awaited further clues on whether the Federal Reserve will raise US interest rates this year, while oil suffered fresh losses on persistent glut worries.

Globally, Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.61 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.77 per cent and Shanghai composite lost 0.12 per cent.

In European markets, Paris was up 0.51 per cent, Frankfurt rose 0.31 per cent but London FTSE shed 0.16 per cent in early deals.

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