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Sensex ends at 3-week high as overseas leads play along


 Mumbai : Putting the previous day’s pain behind, the benchmark BSE Sensex today rebounded by about 260 points to close at 25,850.30 — a nearly three-week high — helped by a raft of positive US economic data on growth and consumer spending.

For the broader NSE Nifty, it was a sense of deja vu as it retook the 7,800-mark after investors built up their bets.

The 30-share Sensex rose 259.65 points, or 1.01 per cent, to 25,850.30 at the close — its highest closing since December 3. The index was down 145.25 points yesterday.

The 50-share Nifty closed at 7,865.95, up 79.85 points, or 1.03 per cent.

The current account deficit (CAD), at USD 8.2 billion, narrowed to 1.6 per cent of GDP in the September quarter, which emboldened investors further.

“Markets traded in an upbeat mood today in the absence of selling pressure by foreign investors due to year-end holidays and following overnight gains on Wall Street after data showed healthy US GDP growth in the third quarter,” said Shreyash Devalkar, Fund Manager, Equities, BNP Paribas MF.

Shares of metal, oil and gas, healthcare, power and realty spearheaded the rally following a fresh spell of buying.

Sentiment was lifted after data showed that foreign funds after remaining sellers this month so far were seen adding to their holdings, brokers said.

The rupee, at 66.21, firmed up for the seventh straight day against the dollar, which spread cheer.

Domestic shares had opened on a strong footing and mood remained upbeat during the session, tracking a firming trend in Asia in line with overnight gains at US and European markets.

Among 30 Sensex components, 25 advanced and five lost. Sector-wise, the BSE metal index gained most by rising 1.87 per cent, followed by oil and gas and healthcare.

Buying activity by retail investors lifted the small-cap and mid-cap indices by up to 0.43 per cent.

Key indices in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan moved up to 0.96 per cent while Shanghai Composite fell 0.43 per cent. Europe was in a better shape in early trade.

Meanwhile, market debutants Dr Lal PathLabs ended 49.85 per cent higher while Alkem Laboratories closed up by 31.57 per cent.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 168.73 crore yesterday, as per provisional data. Markets will be closed on Friday on account of Christmas.

Tata Steel ended 2.53 per cent up after the company announced that Tata Steel UK has signed a Letter of Intent with Greybull Capital for a potential sale of its long product Europe business.

Financial markets in Japan remained shut for a national holiday.

“We have seen a delayed Santa Claus rally in the truncated week… All prospects of the passage of the key GST Bill were ruined in the political chaos,” said Vinod Nair, Head-Fundamental Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd.

“Going forward, we expect the government likely to focus on reforms outside Parliament to control the volatility in the market.”

The market breadth turned positive as 1,526 stocks ended higher, 1,145 closed lower while 247 ruled steady out of the total 2,918 stocks.

The total turnover rose to Rs 3,048.54 crore, from Rs 2,685 crore yesterday.

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