Expectation of healthy rural demand lifts equity indices

Expectation of a healthy rural demand on the back of the government’s enhanced farm sector support buoyed the key Indian equity indices on Wednesday.

Additionally, positive economic data on services sector and healthy buying in automobile and banking sector stocks pushed the indices higher, despite broadly negative global cues.

Consequently, the 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) zoomed by 266.80 points or 0.75 per cent.

Similarly, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) ended the day’s trade in the positive territory. It gained 70 points or 0.65 per cent at 10,769.90 points.

The Sensex of the BSE, which opened at 35,385.52 points, ended at 35,645.40 points, higher by 266.80 points or 0.75 per cent from the previous day’s close at 35,378.60 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 35,667.31 points and a low of 35,309.67 during the intra-day trade.

Globally, major Asian markets closed on a mixed note, while European indices like FTSE 100 and DAX traded in the red.

On the currency front, the rupee ended at 68.74 per dollar, 16 paise weaker than its previous close of 68.58 per greenback.

Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 284.58 crore while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 611.01 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE automobile index gained the most, by 313.70 points, followed by the banking index which ended 201.19 points higher while the healthcare index was up 113.85 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE consumer durables index fell by 103.05 points, the IT index was down 85.05 points and the TECK index ended lower by 39.89 points from its previous close.

The major gainers on the Sensex were Bajaj Auto, up 3.95 per cent at Rs 2,978.20; Maruti Suzuki, up 2.69 per cent at Rs 9,220.80; HDFC, up 2.09 per cent at Rs 1,922.85; Hindustan Unilever, up 2.03 per cent at Rs 1,676.15; and Reliance Industries, up 1.90 per cent at Rs 990.05 per share.

The top losers were NTPC, down 1.32 per cent at Rs 153; Vedanta, down 1.21 per cent at Rs 228.15; ONGC, down 1.20 per cent at Rs 155.95; Bharti Airtel, down 1.01 per cent at Rs 366.45; and Tata Motors, down 0.93 per cent at Rs 267 per share.

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