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Market off day’s high as RBI meet gets under way

Mumbai: The Sensex failed to hold on to its early momentum and came off the day’s high on profit-booking, but managed to close higher for the second day in a cautious trade ahead of the RBI policy meet announcement tomorrow amid mixed global cues. The rupee appreciating 31 paise intra-day against the dollar, gaining past the 68 mark to 67.90, had a positive impact too. Another record closing on the US bourses gave much support as investors shrugged off Italian referendum outcome that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

The 30-share BSE barometer after opened higher on across-the-board gains, but higher levels could not be sustained as profit-booking emerged towards the close, with the index ending at 26,392.76, a marginal rise of 43.66, or 0.17 per cent. The gauge had gained 118 points in the previous volatile session yesterday in anticipation of a rate cut by RBI. The broader NSE Nifty gained 14.40 points, or 0.18 per cent, to end at 8,143.15 after moving between 8,178.70 and 8,130.85. Emergence of profit-booking by speculators at improved levels in the last half an hour of trading dragged the key indices down from the day’s high by wiping out the session’s big gains.

Brokers said that as the Reserve Bank is expected to announce a cut in policy rates at the conclusion of its meet tomorrow, some investors widened their bets, contributing to the gains. As many as 18 components of the 30-share Sensex pack ran up while 12 led by Hind Unilever and Maruti Suzuki lost and capped the gains. Major gainers were HDFC Ltd (2.07 per cent), Tata Steel (1.16 per cent), ONGC (1.08 per cent) and Adani Ports (1.04 per cent). Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth a net Rs 317.85 crore yesterday, as per provisional data. Among the BSE sectoral indices, realty rose 1.73 per cent, followed by oil and gas 1.17 per cent.

In line with the overall trend, the broader market too gathered momentum, with the BSE mid-cap ending up 0.52 per cent and small-cap 0.41 per cent. Asian markets led by Tokyo closed higher, tracking a strong lead from the Wall Street where markets rallied to another record in the wake of strong US economic data. Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.47 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.75 per cent.

China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.16 per cent. European markets also witnessed a mixed trend, with Paris CAC rising 0.15 per cent and Frankfurt’s DAX up 0.12 per cent, while London’s FTSE fell 0.05 per cent in their late morning deals.

PTI