Indian equities bounce back from lows on positive global cues

Mumbai: Positive global cues on the back of trade war fears easing between major world economies pulled the key Indian equity indices from their five-month lows to close with substantial gains during the curtailed trade week ended Wednesday.

Market observers were of the view that the Central government’s plan to reduce borrowing, along with healthy buying in banking and metals stocks among others sectors, uplifted investors’ sentiments during the derivatives-expiry week.

On a weekly basis, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at 32,968.68 points — gaining 372.14 points or 1.14 per cent points but not able to hold the 33,000-level.

On the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the wider Nifty50 closed trade at 10,113.70 points — up 115.65 points or 1.16 per cent from its previous week’s close.

“Markets bounced back this week from a low of 9,958 after four consecutive weeks of losses for the Nifty. Market breadth was negative in two out of the three trading sessions of the week,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

The Indian equity markets were closed on Thursday and Friday on account of Mahavir Jayanti (March 29) and Good Friday (March 30), respectively.

“The top sectoral gainers were the PSU banks, Bank Nifty, media and metal indices. The top losers were the IT and energy indices,” said Jasani.

Prateek Jain, Director at Hem Securities, said: “After four successive weeks of decline, markets witnessed a breather in the holiday-shortened derivative expiry week and managed to close with decent gains on positive global clues.”

On the global front, according to Jain, fears of a trade war eased after reports emerged of possible negotiations between the US and China.

“Trading sentiment also got a lift in the wake of the Indian government’s announcement of lower-than-expected borrowing programme for the first half of the fiscal year 2019,” Jain told IANS.

The Central government last week said it will borrow only Rs 2.88 lakh crore through its benchmark bond scheme in the first half of FY19 — 47.5 per cent of the total budgeted amount — as against 60-65 per cent share in this period in previous years.

On the currency front, the rupee weakened by 17 paise to close at 65.18 against the US dollar from its previous week’s close at 65.01.

Provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 868.62 crore, while the domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 6,151.53 crore during the truncated trade week.

Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) revealed that foreign portfolio investors invested in equities worth Rs 3,214.27 crore, or $494.08 million, during March 26-28.

The top weekly Sensex gainers were: Coal India (up 4.54 per cent at Rs 283.50); IndusInd Bank (up 3.70 per cent at Rs 1,795.60); Hero MotoCorp (up 2.19 per cent at Rs 3,545.50); HDFC Bank (up 1.82 per cent at Rs 1,891.45); and Hindustan Unilever (up 1.64 per cent at Rs 1,335.90).

The losers were: Wipro (down 4.77 per cent at Rs 281.45); Bharti Airtel (down 4.71 per cent at Rs 398.90); ICICI Bank (down 3.87 per cent at Rs 278.40); Bajaj Auto (down 3.67 per cent at Rs 2,748.90); and Axis Bank (down 3.04 per cent at Rs 509.40).