Sensex breaks seven-day losing streak to close above 26,000 mark

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Mumbai: Breaking a seven-day losing pattern, the Sensex on Friday reclaimed the key 26,000-mark by recovering 61 points, helped by gains in pharma, auto and capital goods.

For the week, the Sensex lost 448.86 points, or 1.69%, while the broader NSE Nifty dropped 153.70 points, or 1.88%. This is their biggest weekly in five, which is since the week ended 18 November. Domestic investors backed up and covering-up of short positions gave equities a push too.

But a weak trend in Asia and a muted opening in Europe cast its shadow. The rupee appreciated 21 paise intra-day against the dollar, to 67.78, which had a positive influence too, brokers said. After a subdued opening, the Sensex dropped as foreign funds liquidated bets ahead of Christmas. but emergence of value-buying later meant it wiped off early losses before settling higher by 61.10 points, or 0.24%, at 26,040.70. The 50-share NSE Nifty ended up 6.65 points, or 0.08%, at 7,985.75 points.

Intra-day, it shuttled between 7,942.05 and 8,022.60. For the major part of the session, both Sensex and the Nifty moved in a tight range in tandem with emerging markets, which remained subdued on sustained foreign fund outflows.

The 30-scrip gauge had lost 718.22 points in the previous seven sessions on sustained foreign fund outflows and fears of a likely hit to corporate earnings due to currency crunch and lack of any major trigger. Cipla surged 4.03 per cent, logging the best gains among 30 Sensex constituents.

It was followed by Sun Pharma with a rise of 2.40%. Other gainers which supported the BSE Sensex include Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto, GAIL, L&T, HDFC Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Bharti Airtel, Asian Paints, NTPC, HDFC Ltd, NTPC, Infosys and RIL.

On the other hand, stocks led by Axis Bank, ONGC, ITC Ltd, Tata Motors, M&M, ICICI Bank, Tata Steel, TCS, Adani Ports, Wipro, SBI and Dr Reddy’s finished in the negative terrain.

A weak trend at other Asian markets and a mixed opening in European markets also influenced sentiment here. While Japanese financial markets were closed on Friday for a public holiday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.28 % and Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.94%.

Among European markets, Frankfurt was up 0.12%, while Paris rose 0.02% in their morning trade but London’s FTSE shed 0.03%. Sectorwise, the BSE capital goods index gained the most by rising 0.87%, followed by consumer durables (up 0.78%), auto (0.28%) and oil and gas (up 0.26%) while realty, healthcare, FMCG and IT ended lower by up to 1.06.

In contrast, the broader markets remained under pressure, with the mid-cap index falling by 0.40% and small-cap index 0.04 %.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth a net Rs 614.40 crore on Thursday, according to provision data.