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Sensex logs first gain in four days, all eyes on GST

Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex snapped its three-day losing streak by recovering 23 points to close at 30,857.32 on short-covering from operators on June series F&O expiry coupled with caution ahead of GST rollout.

The gauge, after a strong opening, quickly reclaimed the 31,000-mark to hit a high of 31,097.92 as investors cheered the Cabinet’s decision to okay disinvestment of the loss making Air India — an indication that the government will stay on course of reforms.

The Sensex had lost 456.42 points in three straight sessions. The 50-share Nifty opened higher today, at 9,522.95, and traded in the range of 9,493.80-9,575.80, before closing at 9,504.10, up 12.85 points, or 0.14 per cent, from yesterday’s close.

Markets regulator Sebi’s proposal to relax entry norms for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) willing to invest directly in Indian stock markets also went down well with investors.

However, offloading of positions following expiry of June series in the derivatives segment led the index to a low of 30,794.61, before it finally ended 23.20 points, or 0.08 per cent higher, at 30,857.52. “Market failed to sustain the initial acceleration supported by short covering on the day of expiry. The wary investors started booking profit with an expectation of consolidation in the market as the transition to GST may cause disruptions in the coming quarters, Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services Ltd said.

Global cues were higher with other Asian markets rebounding and European shares remaining mixed in their late morning deals, reflecting overnight gains on the US markets, which influenced sentiments here.

Sector-wise, the BSE metal index gained the most, rising 2.15 per cent, followed by realty (1.01 per cent), FMCG (0.73 per cent), teck (0.27 per cent), capital goods (0.20 per cent) and power (0.20 per cent). However, healthcare, banking, PSU and auto indices remained in negative zone, falling by up to 0.09 per cent.

The broader markets too were in better shape as the small-cap index rose 0.98 per cent and mid-cap index 0.34 per cent after investors widened their positions.

Domestic Institutional Inverstors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 168.97 crore, while Foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth Rs 469.09 crore yesterdy, as per provisional data from stock exchanges.

In the Sensex kitty, major gainers were Axis Bank (3.48 per cent), Tata Steel (2.85 per cent), Cipla (1.43 per cent), Bharti Airtel (1.39 per cent), ITC (1.05 per cent), ICICI Bank (0.95 per cent), Hero MotoCorp (0.85 per cent), Wipro (0.66 per cent) and Infosys (0.55 per cent).

However, Kotak Bank lost 1.95 per cent, Tata Motors, 1.40 per cent, SBI 1.39 per cent, Sun Pharma 1.23 per cent, Lupin 0.80 per cent, TCS 0.70 per cent, Asian Paint 0.49 per cent, Dr Reddy’s 0,.42 per cent and Reliance Industries 0.40 per cent.

Markets closed with marginal gains amid volatility as traders rolled over positions in the futures & options (F&O) segment from the near month June 2017 series to July 2017 series.

On the macro front, the implementation of landmark tax reform Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be closely watched.

Globally, Asian markets mostly ended higher with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rising 1.10 per cent, Japan’s Nikkei going up 0.45 per cent and Shanghai Composite Index jumping 0.47 per cent.

European markets were largely mixed with Paris and Frankfurt stock exchanges trading lower whereas London was up in early deals.

PTI