Sensex ends modestly higher; auto, bank stocks slip

The BSE Sensex ended modestly higher Wednesday after a highly volatile session as investors largely remained on the sidelines ahead of the US Fed’s interest rate decision.

After rallying nearly 400 points during the day, the BSE gauge settled 66.40 points, or 0.17 per cent, higher at 39,112.74. The broader NSE Nifty closed almost flat at 11,691.45.

Top gainers in the Sensex pack included Tata Steel, Kotak Bank, NTPC, HDFC twins, PowerGrid and ONGC, rising up to 4.60 per cent.

On the other hand, Yes Bank, Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp, IndusInd Bank, M&M, Bharti Airtel and Bajaj Auto dropped up to 5.54 per cent.

Domestic equities opened on a positive note following upbeat Asian markets on hopes that the US Fed might cut rates in the near future, said Narendra Solanki, Head Fundamental Research (Investment Services) – AVP Equity Research, Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers.

Reports of US-China trade talks next week also gave a shot in the arm to global markets, he added.

However, the markets trimmed most of their gains and came off the day’s highs led by selling in PSU banks, auto and pharma and IT sectors.

“The markets also failed to draw any sense of relief with the Reserve Bank of India’s statement that it will infuse Rs 12,500 crore of liquidity into the system through purchase of government bonds to ease prevailing liquidity conditions,” Solanki said.

Sectorally, BSE realty, consumer durables, metal, power, utilities and FMCG indices ended up to 1.20 per cent higher.

However, healthcare, auto, telecom, industrials, oil and gas and energy lost up to 1.49 per cent.

The broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices underperformed the benchmarks, settling up to 1.37 per cent lower.

Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors net bought shares worth Rs 31.73 crore Tuesday, provisional data with exchanges showed.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hang Seng rallied 2.56 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index jumped 0.96 per cent, Nikkei soared 1.72 per cent and Kospi gained 1.24 per cent.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a mixed note in early deals.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee was flat at 69.70 against the US dollar intra-day.


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