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Foreign funds’ inflow, budgetary expectations lift equities

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Mumbai, Jan 27 (IANS) The inflow of foreign funds, coupled with rupee appreciation and positive Asian indices on Friday pushed the Indian equities to their highest levels in around three months.

Besides, hopes of incentives in the upcoming Union budget kept investors’ sentiments buoyed.

The key indices closed the day’s trade in the green — with gains of around half a per cent each, although some gains were pared on the back of profit booking.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose by 38.50 points or 0.45 per cent, to close at a 12-week high of 8,641.25 points.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 27,761.03 points, closed at 27,882.46 points — up 174.32 points or 0.63 per cent from the previous close at 27,708.14 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 27,980.39 points and a low of 27,759.48 points during the intra-day trade.

In contrast, the BSE market breadth was marginally tilted in favour of the bears — with 1,411 declines and 1,376 advances.

In terms of the broader markets, the BSE mid-cap index rose by 0.64 per cent, while the BSE small-cap index was up 0.53 per cent.

On Wednesday, the NSE Nifty rose by 126.95 points or 1.50 per cent, to close at 8,602.75 points, while the BSE Sensex was up 332.56 points or 1.21 per cent.

"Carrying on from the previous session, markets continued to rally strongly for the fourth consecutive session, with the Nifty closing at a 12-week high," Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

"However, selling pressure at higher levels curbed the gains. Major Asian markets have ended higher, while European indices like FTSE 100, CAC 40 and DAX traded lower."

According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, gains were also capped due to profit booking in commodities.

"The European market opened in negative due to which our market witnessed some profit booking, however managing to retain more than half a per cent of gain," Desai pointed out.

In addition, the Indian rupee strengthened by four paise to 68.04 against a US dollar from its previous close of 68.08 to a greenback.

The provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 211.77 crore, while the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought scrip worth Rs 482.52 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE banking index surged by 334.23 points, followed by the automobile index, which increased by 191.39 points, and the consumer durables index, which rose by 144.19 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE FMCG index plunged by 131.82 points and the realty index inched down by 6.76 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Friday were: ICICI Bank, up 4.74 per cent at Rs 272.05; Bharti Airtel, up 3.82 per cent at Rs 323.45; NTPC, up 3.33 per cent at Rs 176.85; State Bank of India (SBI), up 2.78 per cent at Rs 266.50; and HDFC, up 2.60 per cent at Rs 1,370.70.

Major Sensex losers were: ITC, down 2.78 per cent at Rs 257.50; Lupin, down 1.77 per cent at Rs 1,491.50; Wipro, down 1.55 per cent at Rs 466.10; Hindustan Unilever (HUL), down 1.53 per cent at Rs 855.80; and Asian Paints, down 0.84 per cent at Rs 969.