Mumbai: Reversing its previous day’s losses, the flagship Sensex today staged a modest comeback to end with paltry gain of about 48 points, buoyed by pick-up in the infrastructure sector in November coupled with firm global cues. The overall recovery also received some support from banking stocks which recouped their previous losses after being hit by profitability fears in the wake of lending rate cuts. Core industries grew 4.9 per cent in November 2016 on the back of healthy performance by sectors, including coal, steel and electricity, prompting investors to go in for fresh bets.
After a higher opening, the Sensex advanced to hit the day’s high of 26,724.40. But profit-booking towards the close made it shed some ground to touch a low of 26,488.37 before settling up 47.79 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 26,643.24. The gauge had lost 31.01 points in the first trading session of 2017 yesterday. The NSE Nifty also moved up by 12.75 points, or 0.16 per cent, to end at 8,192.25, after moving between 8,219.10 and 8,148.60.
A firming trend in Asia and higher opening in Europe also supported the upmove, they said. PowerGrid led from the front, with a gain of 2.48 per cent, with Axis Bank notching up 1.90 per cent, Coal India 1.53 per cent, Cipla 1.46 per cent, GAIL 1.10 per cent and ICICI Bank 1.07 per cent. Bharti Airtel ended with most losses, down 2.36 per cent, after it unveiled a free 4G data plan, followed by Hero MotoCorp 1.44 per cent and Tata Motors 1.23 per cent. Consumer durables gained the most by rising 3.01 per cent followed by oil and gas (1.96 per cent). PSU rose 1.58 per cent, power 1.04 per cent and infrastructure 0.75 per cent.
The broader markets were also in better shape, with the small-cap index surging 1.03 per cent and mid-cap 0.61 per cent. Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.68 per cent while Shanghai Composite index rose 1.04 per cent today while Japanese markets remained closed today for an extended new year holiday. European shares also joined Asia as Frankfurt’s DAX climbed 0.25 per cent, Paris CAC 0.51 per cent and London’s FTSE 0.80 per cent. Meanwhile, foreign funds net sold shares worth Rs 260.64 crs yesterday, as per provisional data.