Markets extend gains in see-saw trade; bank, IT stocks sparkle


A man walks near the bronze statue of a bull outside the BSE in Mumbai. File
| Photo Credit: AP

Market benchmarks overcame bouts of volatility to close in the green for the second straight session on January 3, propped up by robust demand for banking, IT and pharma stocks amid a supportive trend overseas.

However, a depreciating rupee and sustained foreign fund outflows capped the gains, traders said.

The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 126.41 points or 0.21% to settle at 61,294.20. During the day, it hit a high of 61,343.96 and a low of 61,004.04.

The broader NSE Nifty gained 35.10 points or 0.19% to end at 18,232.55.

Axis Bank led the Sensex gainers’ chart, spurting 2.25%, followed by Titan, TCS, Tech Mahindra, Sun Pharma, IndusInd Bank, Wipro and Nestle India.

In contrast, Mahindra & Mahindra, Reliance Industries, Hindustan Unilever, Tata Steel, Asian Paints, ITC and NTPC were among the main laggards, shedding up to 1.13%.

“In the absence of major economic triggers, the domestic market shifted its focus towards the Q3 earnings season, which is set to kick off this week. Banks’ initial quarterly business results revealed solid business traction supported by robust loan growth.

“IT and banks will take centre stage in the coming days as the trend in the market will be determined by the early signals from sector majors,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

In the broader market, the BSE midcap gauge climbed 0.22% and smallcap index advanced 0.18%.

Among sectoral indices, consumer durables jumped 1.56%, healthcare 0.67%, IT (0.65%), financial services (0.64%), bankex (0.58%) and teck (0.53%).

Commodities, FMCG, auto and metal chalked up losses.

“Markets were slightly volatile and moved in a range with a positive bias as investors resorted to select buying due to absence of cues from the U.S. markets, which were shut on Monday. Surprisingly, European indices and other select Asian peers notched up significant gains and it failed to enthuse local traders in a big way.

“However, the trend may reverse soon as key catalyst like reports of U.S. minutes of the meeting will be released this week,” said Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail), Kotak Securities Ltd.

Elsewhere in Asia, equity markets in Shanghai and Hong Kong logged gains, while Seoul ended lower.

Equity exchanges in Europe were trading in the green in mid-session deals. Markets in the U.S. were closed on Monday.

International oil benchmark Brent crude inched up 0.34% to $86.20 per barrel.

The rupee pared initial gains and settled 8 paise lower at 82.86 (provisional) against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, weighed by a strong greenback overseas and sustained foreign fund outflows.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) offloaded shares worth a net ₹212.57 crore on Jan. 2, according to exchange data.

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