Mumbai: Extending gains for the second straight session, the benchmark Nifty rose 29 points to close at 7,538.75 as investors continued to lap up frontline heavyweights on expectations of more strong reform measures.
Renewed hopes of a rate cut by the RBI and stability in overseas markets, predominantly buoyed market sentiment.The overall mood remained highly positive in anticipations that major world central banks will roll out more QE measures to support global recovery momentum ahead of the two-day US Federal Reserve policy meet.
Despite a strong start to trade, the key indices gradually loosened the grip over the mid-afternoon trade on emergence of profit-taking at higher level amid some caution ahead of retail inflation data release later in the day.
But, regained momentum in the later part of the session and closed modestly higher. On the macro front, industrial production contracted by 1.5 per cent in January — its third straight month of drop — due to poor performance of manufacturing sector and lower offtake of capital goods, while WPI inflation remained in the negative zone for a 16th straight month at (-)0.91 per cent in February.
Elsewhere, most Asian markets ended higher, extending Friday’s gains, following the announcement of fresh stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB) despite sluggish economic data from China.
The 50-share broader index opened firmly higher at 7,542.60 and traded in a range of 7,583.70 and 7,515.05, before ending at 7,538.75, revealing a modest gain of 28.55 points or 0.38 per cent.
In sectoral performance, FMCG rose (0.93 per cent), Private Bank (0.86 per cent), Media (0.84 per cent),PSU Bank (0.74 per cent), Nifty Bank (0.72 per cent), Auto (0.69 per cent), Energy (0.62 per cent) alongside Technology, Infra and Pharma. Mid-cap and Small-cap, too, gained.
Metal and realty were the notable losers. Major gainers were ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, Reliance, ITC, TechM, ONGC, SBI, Axis Bank, HUL, Bharti Artel, Lupin, Cairn India, Dr Reddys, Vedanta, Hindalco, BHEL and Adani.
Meanwhile, Coal India topped the list of laggards and lost nearly 7 per cent after the stock adjusted for interim dividend. TCS, Sun Pharma, Kotak Bank, M&M, Infosy, IDEA and HDFC were among the other key losers.
Turnover in cash segment slipped to Rs 13,848.96 crore from Rs 15,620.64 crore last Friday. A total of 7,638.66 lakh shares changed hands in 64,13,053 trades.
The market capitalisation of NSE stood at Rs 90,49,860 crore.