Sensex, Nifty log 3rd straight gains; bank stocks show the way

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Experts believe that markets have started anticipating a better performance by NDA govt

MUMBAI, March 13 (AGENCIES): Indian bourses Wednesday looked beyond global market uncertainties to continue their unabated rally for a third day in a row, with the Sensex and the Nifty logging gains led mainly by banking and energy stocks. The 30-share BSE index ended 216.51 points, or 0.58 per cent, higher at 37,752.17. The broader NSE Nifty closed with gains of 40.50 points, or 0.36 per cent, at 11,341.70.

In the Sensex pack, IndusInd Bank rallied 4.15 per cent. Other gainers included Yes Bank, Bajaj Finance, HDFC Bank, SBI, Bajaj Auto, RIL, HCL Tech, HDFC and ICICI Bank — rising up to 3.67 per cent. On the other hand, Bharti Airtel emerged as top loser with 4.08 per cent fall on the Sensex list.Other major laggards were Vedanta, Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, ONGC, Tata Motors, NTPC and Coal India — shedding up to 3.48 per cent. On Sensex, 13 stocks closed with gains and 17 saw losses. Among the main reasons behind the market rally are sustained foreign fund inflows and strengthening rupee, according to analysts.

On a net basis, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net of Rs 2,477.72 crore on Tuesday, provisional data available with BSE showed. Strengthening gains, the Indian rupee Wednesday further appreciated by 17 paise to close at 69.54 against the US dollar.

Besides, experts believe that markets have started anticipating a better performance by the ruling NDA government in the upcoming general election, helping investors develop risk appetite. However, global investors remained jittery over uncertainties around Brexit developments. The global market weakness also had its impact on Indian equities, though in a limited sense as metal, pharma and teck sector stocks saw sell-off.

Sectorally, the BSE bankex, finance, realty and energy realty indices surged up to 1.42 per cent. While, BSE telecom, metal, power, teck and healthcare indices ended in the red, losing as much as 2.60 per cent. Of the 19 sectoral indices, 13 ended in the red and 6 closed in the green.

The broader markets, however, underperformed benchmarks with BSE mid-cap index falling 0.43 per cent and small-cap shedding 0.31 per cent. The market breadth was tilted in favour of sellers as 1,656 stocks declined and 1,077 advanced. While, 155 scrips remained unchanged.

“The Brexit woes added volatility in the market but the euphoria in domestic environment supported the indices to stand positive. Domestic inflation continue to undershoot RBI’s target level while weak industrial growth increased the prospects for further action from RBI. On the global front, the defeat of Theresa May’s latest version of Brexit deal is creating uncertainties in UK’s economic growth while haven asset like gold inched higher,” Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services Ltd, said. Retail inflation jumped to a four-month high of 2.57 per cent in February, and industrial growth slipped to 1.7 per cent on account of manufacturing sector slowdown, according to latest data.             Global crude benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.33 per cent to USD 66.89 per barrel.

Asian markets retreated Wednesday after two days of gains. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.39 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index was down 1.09 per cent, Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.41 per cent, and Japan’s Nikkei ended 0.99 per cent lower.

Similarly, in the Eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX slipped 0.05 per cent. Paris CAC 40 rose 0.32 per cent and London’s FTSE was up 0.04 per cent in early deals. British Prime Minister Theresa May has suffered yet another crushing Parliament defeat over Brexit when MPs overwhelmingly rejected her plan to quit the EU, plunging the UK into a further period of political uncertainty just 17 days before its divorce from the bloc.


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