Fag-end buying saved the day for the domestic market as BSE Sensex reversed all of its early losses to settle 131 points higher at 24,682.48, tracking a strong opening in Europe as investors awaited the US Federal Reserve’s policy meet outcome.
Earlier in the day, trade data showing decline in exports had dampened the sentiment.
Shares of branded jewellery firms witnessed selling after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rejected the demand to roll back 1 per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery.
Rajesh Exports slumped 11.70 per cent, Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri shed 2.71 per cent, PC Jewellers dropped 2.40 per cent and Titan slipped 1.21 per cent.
“The market smartly reversed from its day low as Investors factored the consensus of no rate hike in Fed policy action. The glimpse of positive recovery in Europe has also favored the market sentiment,” said Vinod Nair, Head Fundamental Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
The 30-share index remained in the negative zone for most part of the session and hit a low of 24,354.55. However, on across-the-board buying in late session, the index recovered to end at 24,682.48, up 131.31 points or 0.53 per cent. The gauge had lost 253.11 points in yesterday’s session.
The 50-issue NSE Nifty after crossing the crucial 7,500- mark advanced to a high of 7,508 and finally settled 38.15 points or 0.51 per cent higher at 7,498.75.
Meanwhile, country’s exports shrunk for a 15th straight month by 5.66 per cent in February to USD 20.73 billion due to contraction in shipments of petroleum and engineering goods.
ICICI Bank, topped the Sensex gainers by surging 2.30 per cent at Rs 226.45 followed by ITC at 1.66 per cent.
Sector-wise, the BSE banking index gained the most by surging 0.88 per cent followed by IT 0.86 per cent, FMCG 0.81 per cent, tech 0.55 per cent and healthcare 0.30 per cent.
While mid-cap fell by 0.41 per cent, small-cap shed 0.17 per cent.
Overseas, Asian markets ended mixed as investors remained cautious ahead of the outcome of US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting. Key indices in China, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan firmed up by 0.17 per cent to 1.02 per cent while indices in Hong Kong and Japan eased between 0.15 per cent and 0.83 per cent.
Europe was also higher in afternoon trade as indices in France, Germany and the UK moved up by 0.26 per cent to 0.65 per cent.
Back home, of the 30-share Sensex pack, 19 scrips ended higher while 11 fell.
Major gainers were ICICI Bank (2.30 pc), ITC (1.66 pc), Infosys (1.56 pc), Cipla (1.52 pc), Lupin (1.27 pc), Axis Bank (1.22 pc), HDFC (1.06 pc), Wipro (0.76 pc), Bajaj Auto (0.70 pc), Dr Reddy’s (0.53 pc) and M&M (0.45 pc).
However, Asian Paints fell by 2.17 per cent followed by Bharti Airtel 1.16 per cent, Sun Pharma (0.86 pc), Hero MotoCorp (0.46 pc), ONGC (0.43 pc) and GAIL (0.25 pc).
“Among dayâ€™s major market moving events, shares of Adani Enterprises remained in limelight today after the government of Queensland provided backing to the company to develop its planned coal mine for an estimated project cost of $7.45 billion,” said Achin Goel, Head Wealth Management and Financial Planning, Bonanza Portfolio.
The market breadth remained negative as 1,406 shares ended lower, 1,166 closed higher while 164 ruled steady.
The total turnover fell to Rs 2,249.88 crore from Rs 2,369.49 crore yesterday.