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Markets extend gains on fag-end buying; Infosys, L&T shine

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MUMBAI, Aug 16 (PTI): Benchmark equity indices Sensex and Nifty pared early losses to close higher for a second straight session on Wednesday, supported by fag-end buying in index majors Infosys, L&T and M&M amid a mixed trend in global markets.

In a volatile trade, the 30-share BSE Sensex climbed 137.50 points or 0.21 per cent to settle at 65,539.42. During the day, it fell by 369.03 points or 0.56 per cent to 65,032.89.

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The NSE Nifty gained 30.45 points or 0.16 per cent to end at 19,465.

“The initial apprehension stemming from an above-expected surge in domestic CPI inflation, driven by higher food prices, induced volatility in the Indian market.

“However, the market found some relief as the likelihood of this inflation-surge being transitory alleviated concerns, leading to a recovery in the latter part of the trading session,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

UltraTech Cement was the biggest gainer in the Sensex pack, rising 2.43 per cent, followed by NTPC, Tata Motors, Infosys, Power Grid, Mahindra & Mahindra, Larsen & Toubro, Maruti, Wipro and SBI were the major gainers.

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In contrast, Tata Steel, Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Finserv, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finance and JSW Steel were among the laggards.

In the broader market, the BSE smallcap gauge climbed 0.52 per cent, and midcap advanced 0.25 per cent.

“While volatility continued to remain the ongoing theme, markets rebounded in late trades amid buying in IT, realty and power stocks, although metals came under hammering on worries slackening demand in China could hurt sentiment going ahead,” Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Research (Retail), Kotak Securities Ltd, said.

Among the indices, utilities climbed 1.14 per cent, realty gained 1.08 per cent, power (1.03 per cent), industrials (0.82 per cent), healthcare (0.80 per cent), capital goods (0.63 per cent) and auto (0.63 per cent).

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Commodities, financial services, telecommunication, bankex and metal were the laggards.

“Domestic equity had a weak opening but saw a smart recovery towards the end amid a drop in UK inflation and short covering ahead of the FOMC meeting minutes release along with US IIP data.

“The market has been witnessing pressure on account of weak global cues especially, because of the faltering of the Chinese economy and Fitch’s warning to downgrade US midsized banks,” Siddhartha Khemka, Head – Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd, said.

In Asian markets, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong ended in the negative territory.

European markets were trading mostly in the green. The US markets ended lower on Tuesday.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.01 per cent to USD 84.90 a barrel.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) offloaded equities worth Rs 2,324.23 crore on Monday, according to exchange data.

Equity markets were closed on Tuesday on account of ‘Independence Day’.

“…on the domestic front sharp surge in inflation data and weak monsoon progress in the month of August 2023 seems to have dented the investor’s sentiments. We expect this weakness to persist in the market in the near term in the absence of any positive trigger,” Khemka said.

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