Sensex snapped its six-day losing streak by rebounding 196 points on Tuesday on fresh buying in metal, realty, auto and energy counters and short covering ahead of November-series expiry amid improving global cues. In the process, the index has come off its six-month low hit on Monday. US stocks closed at fresh record highs overnight, aided by a jump in oil prices and a pullback in the dollar. Covering-up of pending short positions by participants ahead of Thursday’s November expiry in the derivatives segment too supported the recovery.
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“Government’s nod to relax demonetisation norms for farmers so as to save rabi crop brought in some positivity to the battered market, forcing bears to loosen the grip and sparking short covering,” said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services. However, caution prevailed amid growing concerns that the government’s demonetisation move would hit the economy more than expected and the rupee losing strength against the dollar to close at near a six-month low of 68.25.
The Sensex opened higher at 25,928.16 and hovered in a range of 26,039.70 and 25,765.51 before ending at 25,960.78, showing a gain of 195.64 points or 0.76 per cent. The index had dropped by 1,752.54 or 6.37 per cent in previous six sessions to reach six-month lows. The NSE 50-share Nifty also recovered by 73.20 points or 0.92 per cent to end above the 8,000-level at 8,002.30.
However, foreign sellers continued their selling spree. Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 1,310.82 crore yesterday, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges. Overseas, Asian markets gained in the wake of solid gains in US stocks, while the Japanese yen briefly strengthened after a powerful earthquake which rocked northern Japan appeared to have been taken in stride by investors.
Key indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan ended higher by 0.20 per cent to 1.3 per cent. European markets were also trading higher in their afternoon trade as key indices in France, Germany and the UK moved up by 0.52 per cent to 0.83 per cent. With OPEC’s twice-yearly gathering set for November 30, global benchmark Brent crude rose 30 cents to trade at one-month high of USD 49.20 a barrel amid hopes of an upcoming production-cut deal.
Back home, broader markets too displayed a positive trend, with the BSE Mid-cap index rising 1.39 per cent, while small-cap gained 1.16 per cent as investors widened their portfolios. A total of 23 stocks in the 30-share Sensex pack ended higher, while the remaining 7 closed lower. Major gainers were Maruti (2.97 per cent), Bajaj Auto (2.89 per cent), HUL (2.54 per cent), Hero MotoCorp (2.35 per cent), Adani Ports (2.10 per cent), Wipro (1.87 per cent), HDFC (1.82 per cent), Tata Motors (1.75 per cent), Tata Steel (1.74 per cent), Bharti Airtel (1.52 per cent), M&M (1.50 per cent), Axis Bank (1.17 per cent), Lupin (1.09 per cent) and Reliance (1.03 per cent).
However, Larsen fell by 1.41 per cent, Gail India 1.33 per cent, NTPC 0.87 per cent, Power Grid 0.51 per cent and Dr Reddy’s 0.45 per cent. Among the sectoral indices, metal rose by 2.74 per cent, followed by realty (2.53 per cent), auto (1.89 per cent), energy (1.29 per cent), finance (1.10 per cent) and oil&gas (1.10 per cent).
The market breadth turned positive as 1,457 stocks ended higher, 1,099 finished in red while 190 ruled steady. The total turnover on BSE fell to Rs 2,306.61 crore from Rs 2,548.58 crore yesterday.