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Sensex gains 60 points in early trade led by gains in banking stocks, foreign fund inflows; Nifty trades almost flat

FP Staff

Sensex rose over 60 points in early trade on Thursday led by gains in banking stocks amid sustained foreign fund inflows. Besides, easing global crude prices also helped to buy sentiment, traders said.

The 30-share index was trading 60.48 points, or 0.16 percent, higher at 38,659.47 in morning trade. The broader NSE Nifty was trading almost flat - up 2 points, or 0.02 percent, at 11,466.

At 10:15 am, the BSE Sensex was up by 90 points at 38,689 while the Nifty 50 edged higher by 11 points to 11,475. Sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were mixed with Nifty metal showing a decline of 1.4 percent.

Top gainers in the Sensex pack included HDFC, ITC, TCS, NTPC, Asian Paint, L&T, IndusInd Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, SBI and Sun Pharma.

On the other hand, Vedanta, Tata Steel, ONGC, HCL Tech, M&M, TechM and Tata Motors fell up to 1.94 percent.

In the previous session, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 92.90 points, or 0.24 percent, higher at 38,598.99. On similar lines, the broader NSE Nifty rose 35.70 points, or 0.31 percent, to settle at 11,464.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) continued to be net buyers in the capital market, infusing Rs 686.33 crore on Wednesday, and domestic institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 1,576.73 crore, data available with the stock exchange showed.

Asian shares pause after five-day rally

In Asia, bourses in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo were trading on a positive note, while those in Seoul were in the red.

Asian stocks barely moved on Thursday as the soft US retail sales data raised fears about the health of the world's largest economy, sucking the steam out of a five-session rally, while hopes of a Brexit deal kept sterling volatile.

South Korean, Australian and New Zealand indexes were all in negative territory. Chinese shares were mostly flat while Japan's Nikkei ticked up and US stock futures ESc1 were barely changed.

That left MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slightly higher with gains largely led by Hong Kong's Hang Seng index.

The S&P 500 shed 0.20 percent on Wednesday after data showed US retail sales contracted in September for the first time in seven months, in a potential sign that manufacturing-led weakness could be spreading to the broader economy, Reuters said.

"It looks like the trade war has claimed yet another victim, in addition to diminished business confidence and reduced investment spending, as consumers are starting to chicken out," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank.

Given US consumption has been one of few remaining bright spots in the global economy, the data fanned worries the Sino-US trade war would tip the world into recession.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that US and Chinese trade negotiators were working on nailing down a Phase 1 trade deal text for their presidents to sign next month.

But he also said there were no plans for another high-level meeting on the trade deal outlined last week.

"While the US suspended a hike in tariffs, it hasn't gone as far as scrapping the tariffs altogether, so it is hard to expect a quick pick-up in the economy," said Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

The US markets finished modestly lower on Wednesday after a subdued retail sales report.

Brent futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.69 percent to $59.01 per barrel.

Rupee opens 5 paise higher

The rupee strengthened by 3 paise against the US dollar to trade at 71.40 in early session tracking positive opening in domestic equities and foreign fund inflows.

Forex traders said rupee was trading in a narrow range as market participants remained cautious ahead of the Brexit summit scheduled later this week and on the domestic front, the RBI meeting minutes that will be released on Friday.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened on a positive note at 71.38 then lost momentum and fell to 71.47 against the US dollar, showing a decline of 4 paise over its previous closing.

The Indian rupee on Wednesday had closed at 71.43 against the US dollar.

The local unit, however, gained some strength and was trading at 71.39 against the US dollar at 0953 hours

--With agency inputs

Also See: Sensex jumps over 150 points on positive global cues; Asian shares get trade lift, let down by China data

Sensex rises over 240 points, Nifty up 65 points in line with positive global cues; HUL, TCS, RIL rally among early gainers

Market opens in the red: Sensex drops over 150 points, Nifty slips below 11,300-mark; Bank stocks, Tata Motors among major losers in early trade

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