A day after posting its biggest drop in nearly two months, market benchmark Sensex today inched up by 17 points to 24,900.63 on value-buying in beaten-down stocks amid mixed global cues ahead of the release of minutes from last month’s US Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting.
Market had opened on a slightly positive note and remained volatile throughout the day, although in a very narrow range. In line with the overall trend, the broader markets too displayed a better mood with small-cap index rising 0.91 per cent and mid-cap gaining 0.60 per cent.
Meanwhile, in a significant uptrend, private sector manufacturing and services activities surged to a 37-month high in March on new business orders even as job growth remained sluggish, a monthly survey showed today.
Oil’s 3 per cent rise on Kuwait’s assurance that output freeze would proceed without Iran, also helped the cause.
“With global markets in limbo ahead of FOMC minutes as well as caution ahead of US earnings, Indian stocks failed to gain traction,” said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas.
On the day, Sensex resumed slightly higher at 24,978.86 and hovered in a range of 25,000.65 to 24,834.16 before ending at 24,900.63, a marginal rise of 17 points or 0.07 per cent.
The gauge had slumped 516 points yesterday, its biggest single-day fall since February 11, after RBI cut repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5 per cent at its first bi-monthly policy review for 2016-17, which was widely expected by the market.
The NSE Nifty ended 11.15 points or 0.15 per cent higher at 7,614.35 after shuttling between 7,638.65 and 7,591.75.
From the Sensex pack, Tata Steel emerged as top gainer by climbing 5.24 per cent to Rs 328.45 after the steel giant got Centre’s green panel nod for Odisha mining project and reports the British government opened talks yesterday with potential buyers for the company’s UK operations.
Meanwhile, foreign investors, which had been net buyers on the bourses sold shares worth Rs 800.79 crore yesterday. Overseas, Asia witnessed a mixed trend with the Shanghai Composite ending nearly flat, Hang Seng rising 0.15 per cent, Singapore moving up 0.37 per cent, Korea gaining 0.44 per cent, while Taiwan and Nikkei dropped 1.67 per cent and 0.11 per cent, respectively.
Europe too edged up with oil boosting key indexes like the UK’s FTSE and France’s CAC by up to 0.57 per cent, while Germany’s Dax fell 0.20 per cent.