Markets extend gains for 9th session on fag-end buying; bank stocks shine

Mumbai, Apr 13: Benchmark equity indices Sensex and Nifty ticked higher for the ninth straight session on Thursday, buoyed by fag-end buying in banking, financial and realty stocks amid encouraging domestic retail inflation data. Weak trends in IT counters and fall in the overnight US equity markets triggered by fresh concerns over recession, however, put a check on market’s uptrend. In a largely subdued session, the 30-share BSE Sensex went up marginally by 38.23 points or 0.06 per cent to settle at 60,431. During the day, it hit a high of 60,486.91 and a low of 60,081.43. The broader NSE Nifty climbed 15.60 points or 0.09 per cent to finish at 17,828. “After the flat start, pressure in the IT majors pushed the Nifty lower however buying in select heavyweights especially from the banking pack trimmed all the losses and helped index to close flat,” said Ajit Mishra, VP – Technical Research, Religare Broking Ltd. Among the Sensex firms, IndusInd Bank, Power Grid, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finserv, Kotak Mahindra Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India and Tata Motors were the biggest winners.
Infosys, Tech Mahindra, HCL Technologies, NTPC, Tata Consultancy Services, Larsen & Toubro, Wipro and UltraTech Cement were among the major laggards. Shares of Infosys fell by nearly 3 per cent ahead of its quarterly earnings announcement later in the day. The country’s largest IT services exporter TCS on Wednesday reported a 14.8 per cent increase in March quarter net profit at Rs 11,392 crore but flagged worries from its key market of North America. “Indian shares experienced a downturn, weighed down by IT stocks following weak quarterly earnings and a cautious outlook from the top IT firm, which flagged apprehensions over deferred spending and uncertainty in its BFSI segment.
“The decrease in CPI inflation to 5.66 per cent in India, coupled with the moderation of core inflation, supports the decision of the MPC to keep policy rates on hold. While US inflation cooled to 5 per cent, anxieties grew globally after the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes hinted at a possible “mild recession” due to the impact of banking turmoil,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services. In the broader market, the BSE smallcap gauge climbed 0.33 per cent and midcap index advanced 0.16 per cent.

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