Mumbai, India (BBN)-The Sensex and Nifty wiped off their initial losses and were trading higher by nearly 0.3 per cent on heavy buying in metal, oil & gas and PSU stocks amid weak global cues.
Traders said bargain hunting lifted recently-hit stocks, though the sentiment remained cautious ahead of the federal budget next week, reports The Hindu Business Line.
At 12.15pm, the 30-share BSE index Sensex was up 54.67 points or 0.2 per cent at 27,089.17 and the 50-share NSE index Nifty was up 29.05 points or 0.35 per cent at 8,378.40.
Among BSE sectoral indices, metal index gained the most by 1.55 per cent, followed by oil & gas 1.18 per cent, PSU 1.12 per cent and realty 1.02 per cent.
On the other hand, capital goods index was down 0.35 per cent, healthcare 0.35 per cent and banking 0.19 per cent.
Top five Sensex gainers were GAIl (+2.4 per cent), Lupin (+1.66 per cent), ONGC (+1.55 per cent), Tata Motors (+1.5 per cent) and Tata Steel (+1.25 per cent), while the major losers were ICICI Bank (-2.6 per cent), Axis Bank (-1.12 per cent), L&T (-1.03 per cent), Bharti Airtel (-1.00 per cent) and HUL (-0.71 per cent).
Traders are in a wait-and-watch mode ahead of the government’s 2017/18 budget to be unveiled on February 1 amid hopes for incentives to support an economy hit by cash shortages after a ban on higher-value banknotes.
“Markets have been on a cautionary stance ahead of the speech (Trump’s inauguration speech), but have now bounced back slightly,” said Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
“It’s more about bargain-hunting, and markets are not keen on giving away gains a week before the budget.”
The Nifty and the Sensex opened and traded marginally in the red following weak global cues.
The Nifty opened 19 points down at 8,330, while the Sensex opened 44 points down at 26,991.
A report by SMC Global said: “Most of the Asian stocks declined today as traders reacted for the first time to Donald Trump’s inauguration. Demand for safe haven assets rose while the US dollar slumped after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said that the greenback could strengthen in the Trump presidency. US stocks closed modestly higher Friday, recouping much of the market’s loss from a day earlier.
US housing starts jumped by 11.3 per cent to an annual rate of 1.226 million in December after tumbling by 16.5 per cent to a revised November rate of 1.102 million.
Economists had expected housing starts to rise to an annual rate of 1.200 million from the 1.090 million originally reported for the previous month.”