Equity indices pare early losses to close higher, healthcare stocks rise

Mumbai: Reviving from early losses, the key Indian equity indices on Tuesday closed in the green, supported by healthy buying in healthcare, auto and oil and gas stocks.

The indices had opened on a flat-to-negative note, tracking mixed Asian markets where caution prevailed due to the ongoing trade war concerns. The European markets, however, traded on a positive note.

According to market analysts, appreciation in the Indian rupee also supported the investor sentiments in the domestic market.

Index-wise, the broader Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 10,699.90 points — higher by 42.60 points or 0.40 per cent from its previous close of 10,657.30 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensex on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which had opened at 35,344.21 points, closed at 35,378.60 points — up 114.19 points or 0.32 per cent from its previous session’s close of 35,264.41 points.

Sensex touched a high of 35,445.21 points and a low of 35,195.63 points during the intra-day trade. The BSE market breadth was largely even with 1,317 advances against 1,290 declines.

In the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap rose by 0.69 per cent and the S&P BSE small cap ended 0.44 per cent higher from its previous close.

“Nifty witnessed an upside bounce today, amidst a choppy trend,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.

Asian markets closed mixed and European markets traded in the green, he said, adding that “the underlying short-term trend is slightly positive”.

According to Dhruv Desai, Tradebulls’ Director and Chief Operating Officer, Sensex and Nifty traded cautious amid trade war tensions between the US and China.

On the currency front, the rupee ended at 68.58 per dollar, 22 paise stronger than its previous close of 68.80 per greenback.

Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 1,043.31 crore while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 278.84 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE healthcare index gained the most, by 251.26 points, followed by the auto index which ended 238.79 points higher while the oil and gas index was up 105.95 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE banking index fell by 55.96 points, the metal index was down 34.59 points and the consumer durables index ended lower by 18.58 points from its previous close.

The major gainers on the Sensex were Sun Pharma, up 1.79 per cent at Rs 573.65; Maruti Suzuki, up 1.72 per cent at Rs 8,979.50; Infosys, up 1.44 per cent at Rs 1,353.65; ONGC, up 1.28 per cent at Rs 157.85; and Hero MotoCorp, up 1.17 per cent at Rs 3,453.50 per share.

The top losers were Vedanta, down 3.25 per cent at Rs 230.95; ICICI Bank, down 1.62 per cent at Rs 272.95; HDFC, down 0.56 per cent at Rs 1,883.45; State Bank of India, down 0.52 per cent at Rs 257.75; and Power Grid, down 0.40 per cent at Rs 184.50 per share.