After registering its best weekly performance in over four years, the benchmark Sensex today closed in the positive territory for the fifth straight day by edging up 13 points as investors bolstered their bets amid inflows by foreign funds.
Last week, the Sensex rallied 1,492.18 points, or 6.44 per cent, and Nifty zoomed 455.60 points, or 6.48 per cent — their biggest weekly gain in more than four years.
In a volatile trade, the BSE Sensex after opening a tad higher moved up on the back of widespread gains in blue-chip stocks.
But profit-booking pulled it down as the 30-share barometer settled at 24,659.23, a paltry gain of 12.75 points, or 0.05 per cent.
The gauge had gained 1,644.48 points in the previous four sessions on expectations of a rate cut by RBI and positive global cues after the government kept its deficit target for the next fiscal at 3.5 per cent of GDP in the Budget 2016-17.
In contrast, the NSE Nifty-50, which retook the crucial 7,500-mark at the outset, gave up the day’s gains as profit-booking weighed. Finally, it closed little changed at 7,485.30 as against its previous closing of 7,485.35.
Traders said sentiment remained positive as investors have been building up positions in anticipation of a policy rate reduction by RBI amid a fresh spell of foreign fund inflows.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) purchased shares worth a net Rs 671.57 crore last Friday, according to provisional data.
The market was closed yesterday for ‘Mahashivratri’.
Major gainers were GAIL 2.49 per cent, RIL 2,05 per cent, Lupin 2.05 per cent, ITC 1.66 per cent, HDFC 1.56 per cent, Tata Steel 1.21 per cent, Adani Ports 1 per cent and NTPC 0.99 per cent.
In the 30-share Sensex universe, 16 added to gains while 14 led by Maruti Suzuki, SBI, Hindustan Unilever, ICICI Bank, Cipla, BHEL, Axis Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Dr Reddy’s, L&T and HDFC Bank finished lower, falling by up to 2.90 per cent.
The BSE metal index rose the most by climbing 1.70 per cent, followed by oil and gas 1.50 per cent, realty 0.90 per cent, consumer durables 0.58 per cent, FMCG 0.39 per cent and healthcare 0.20 per cent.
In sync with the overall trend, the broader markets too displayed a mixed trend, with the small-cap index rising 0. 24 per cent while mid-cap index fell 0.25 per cent.
In the rest of Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended 0.76 per cent down and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.73 per cent after China’s exports saw another hefty slump and Brent oil retreated from its near 2016 highs.
European markets too were trading in the negative zone, tracking losses across most of Asia.