Sensex edges higher; RIL, ICICI Bank lead gains


Sensex edges higher; RIL, ICICI Bank lead gains

Extending gains for the second session, the BSE benchmark Sensex today rose over 100 points after the government said that the country’s trade deficit had narrowed to a 10-month low. The 30-share index jumped 122.14 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 36,440.47 in early trade. Similarly, the NSE Nifty reclaimed the 10,900 mark by rising 33.75 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 10,920.55.

Sensex edges higher; RIL, ICICI Bank lead gains

On Tuesday, the Sensex had settled 464.77 points, or 1.30 per cent, higher at 36,318.33, while the broader Nifty rallied 149.20 points, or 1.39 per cent, to finish at 10,886.80.

In morning session on Wednesday, the biggest gainers in the Sensex pack included IndusInd Bank, NTPC, SBI, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, Vedanta, Axis Bank, Tata Steel, PowerGrid, ONGC and Infosys, rising up to 1.35 per cent.

ITC, TCS, Hero MotoCorp, HCL Tech, HUL and Sun Pharma were among the top losers, shedding up to 0.66 per cent.

According to traders, despite weakness in global markets, investor mood on Dalal Street was positive on news that declining imports had narrowed the trade deficit to ten-month low of $13.08 billion in December 2018 as against $14.2 billion in the same month previous year.

However, gains were capped as exports grew at the slowest pace in three months at 0.34% in December, they added.

“The recent stock market action is indicative of bull market action, shrugging off bad news and moving higher on good news,” said Sunil Sharma, chief investment officer, Sanctum Wealth Management.

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With strong top line performance by marquee names in a challenging environment last quarter, and improving macros, the earnings recovery is likely to pick up in the current quarter, barring global surprises, he said, adding “with expectations for a rate cut rising, improving recoveries on bad loans, and rising domestic SIP flows, we expect investors to look past disappointing news flow.”

On a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 159.60 crore Tuesday, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net buyers to the tune of Rs 417.44 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed.

The rupee, meanwhile, appreciated 7 paise against the US dollar to 70.98.

The benchmark Brent crude futures fell 0.26% to $60.48 per barrel.

Global investor sentiment, on the other hand, was cautious after British Prime Minister Theresa May’s divorce deal to leave the EU was overwhelmingly rejected by MPs, triggering a no-confidence motion against her government and leaving the country with no plans for Brexit on March 29.

This is the biggest defeat for a sitting British government in history.

Globally, elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.55%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.21% and Shanghai Composite Index was trading 0.05% lower; while Kospi rose 0.24% in early trade.

On Wall Street, however, Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.65% higher at 24,065.59 points on Tuesday.

source: livemint


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