Sensex climbs 100 pts; Jio sends telecom stocks tumbling

Sensex climbs 100 pts; Jio sends telecom stocks tumbling
Rising for the fourth straight session, the Sensex and Nifty closed near five-month highs today on widespread buying even as telecom stocks tumbled after Reliance Jio announced new tariff plans.

Shares of consumer durables, banking, finance, oil and gas, industrial and capital goods sectors posted a robust show, while telecom, teck and IT ended in the red.

Brokers said long positions built up by participants, including foreign funds, and covering-up of short positions ahead of February month's derivatives expiry on Thursday added to the momentum.

The 30-share Sensex resumed higher at 28,716.70 and hovered between 28,801.00 and 28,597.33 before ending at a five-month closing high of 28,761.59, showing a gain of 100.01 points or 0.35 per cent. The gauge had last ended at 28,773.13 on September 22, 2016.

The index had gained 506.02 points in the previous three sessions.

The NSE 50-share Nifty also rose by 28.65 points or 0.32 per cent to close above the 8,900-level after five months at 8,907.85. The Nifty had last closed at 8,952.50 on September 8, 2016.

"Markets opened on a positive note but slipped into the negative territory, only to recoup losses in the latter half of the trading session," said Karthikraj Lakshmanan, Senior Fund Manager – Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.

Bharti Airtel was the worst performer in the 30-share Sensex pack, while the S&P BSE Telecom index fell the most among BSE sectoral indices after RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani unveiled Reliance Jio's new voice and data offers, including 20 per cent more data than any rival from April 1.

Reliance Jio will continue to offer free voice calls and national roaming post April 1, when its promotional free voice and data offer ends, he added.

Axis Bank surged 4.99 per cent on reports of merger with another private lender, which the bank has denied.

Select steel stocks rose after the government yesterday extended anti-dumping duty on import of certain steel products from China for five years with an aim to protect domestic players from cheap shipments.

Major gainers were Jindal Saw, Jindal Steel and Power and Maharashtra Seamless, rising up to 9.59 per cent.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 433.38 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.

Globally, other Asian stock markets were mixed as investors awaited minutes from the US Federal Reserve's latest meeting and Wall Street prepared to reopen after a three-day weekend.

Japan's Nikkei ended 0.68 per cent higher, Shanghai's Composite Index rose 0.41 per cent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 0.76 per cent lower.

European markets were trading mixed in early deals with Frankfurt up 0.40 per cent and Paris rising 0.07 per cent. London's FTSE fell 0.29 per cent.

Back home, mid-cap and small-cap indices ended higher by 0.52 per cent and 0.46 per cent, respectively.

Of the 30-share Sensex pack, 19 scrips ended higher.

Major gainers were Axis Bank (4.99 per cent), Asian Paints (1.61 per cent), Reliance (1.36 per cent), Adani Ports (1.18 per cent), HUL (1.17 per cent), HDFC (1.06 per cent), ICICI Bank (0.96 per cent), Hero MotoCorp (0.82 per cent), ONGC (0.80 per cent) and Tata Steel (0.80 per cent).

Bharti Airtel fell by 3.38 per cent, followed by TCS (1.68 per cent), Sun Pharma (0.93 per cent), Maruti (0.48 per cent) and Power Grid (0.29 per cent).

Among BSE sectoral and industry indices, consumer durables rose 2.44 per cent, bankex 0.97 per cent, finance 0.86 per cent, oil and gas 0.82 per cent, industrials 0.60 per cent, capital goods 0.34 per cent, metal 0.32 per cent and auto 0.27 per cent.

Telecom fell 2.35 per cent, teck 0.51 per cent and IT 0.17 per cent.

Market breadth remained positive as 1,551 shares advanced, 1,269 lost while 187 ruled steady.

The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 3,017.92 crore, higher than Rs 2,910.44 crore registered during the previous trading session.
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