Mkts breathe easy after 7 days;earnings, global cues lift mood

Domestic equities on Tuesday heaved a sigh of relief after corporate earnings and Asian markets optimism broke the seven-day losing streak, with benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty ending in the green.

The BSE flagship index Sensex jumped over 330 points, or 0.97%, to close at 34,413.16 -- its biggest single- session gains in two weeks. The 30-share pack had lost 2,200.54 points in the last seven sessions amid negative domestic and global cues.

The NSE Nifty too recovered over 100 points, or 0.96%, to end at 10,576.85.

An emergence of value-buying in recently battered banking counters as also pharma and IT stocks revived optimism on domestic bourses.

Also, investor sentiments got a boost from improved outlook on economic growth and falling crude prices.

Brent crude futures tumbled to a six-week low of $65.16 per barrel. A fall in crude prices is seen as positive for India, which imports most of its oil requirements.

"Domestic earnings positivity and optimism in Asian peers led Indian market higher after RBIs status quo stabilised markets. However, investors will continue to keep a watchful eye on global volatility, with Europe continuing to see vulnerability ahead of BOE rate decision," Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services Ltd, said.

The Reserve Bank yesterday projected growth rate at 7.2% for the next financial year as the rollout of GST stabilises and credit offtake improves.

In its 6th bi-monthly policy review, the RBI on Wednesday maintained its status quo on the policy front, retaining the repo rate at 6% and the reverse repo at 5.75%.

The Sensex on Thursday resumed higher at 34,208.11 and traded between a high of 34,634.35 and a low of 34,108.76 before ending at 34,413.16.

Similarly, the Nifty closed above the key 10,550-level at 10,576.85, up 100.15 points. It shuttled between a high of 10,637.80 and low of 10,479.55.

Meanwhile, DIIs had bought shares worth Rs 461.19 crore, while foreign funds sold shares to the tune of Rs 1,022.50 crore on Wednesday, as per provisional data issued by the stock exchanges.

Sun Pharma emerged the smartest of the Sensex lot, surging 6.32%. Dr Reddy's firmed up 3.18$.

Also, SBI, Infosys, Axis Bank, Tata Steel, HDFC LTD, Hindustan Unilever, Kotak Bank, Maruti Suzuki, L&T, Reliance, M&M, Coal India, Bajaj Auto, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Yes Bank, HDFC Bank, TCS, Hero MotoCorp, Asian Paint and Wipro gained up to 2.97%. Shares of leading drug maker, Cipla turned buyers' fancy and gained 7.83% after the company on Wednesday said its net profit rose 7% at Rs 401 crore in the third- quarter ended December.

Losses in Power Grid, NTPC, Tata Motors, ONGC, Adani Ports, ITC Ltd and Bharti Airtel, however, squeezed the upside.

Globally, there was a mixed trend in Asia at the close with a lower opening in European markets.

In the Asian region, Japan's Nikkei ended 1.13% higher, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.42%, while Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.43%, Key indices in Europe such as Frankfurt's DAX shed 0.63%, while Paris CAC 40 down 0.38% in their early deals, London's FTSE too fell 0.49%.

The BSE healthcare took the pole position among sectoral indices, gaining the most by 2.91%, followed by realty 2.51%, Telecom (1.45%), Capital Goods (1.44%), teck (1.41%), IT (1.40%), metal (1.35%), consumer durables (1.32%), auto (1.17%) and bankex (1.12%).

A similar pattern showed up in broader markets, where the small-cap and mid-cap indices rose by 2.25% and 1.82%.

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