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Sensex rebounds to close with small gain of 48 points at 26,643

Reversing its previous day’s losses, the Sensex on Tuesday staged a comeback to end with a paltry gain of 48 points at 26,643, buoyed by pick-up in infrastructure sector in November coupled with firm global cues. The overall recovery received some support from banking stocks which recouped their losses to an extent after being hit by profitability fears in the wake of lending rate cuts.

Core industries expanded but at a slower pace of 4.9% in November than 6.6% in October, which capped the upside. After a higher opening, the Sensex advanced to hit the day’s high of 26,724.40. But profit-booking later on made the barometer hit a low of 26,488.37 before it closed up 47.79 points, or 0.18%, at 26,643.24. It had lost 31.01 points in the first trading session of 2017 on Monday. The NSE Nifty also moved up by 12.75 points, or 0.16%, to end at 8,192.25, after moving between 8,219.10 and 8,148.60. Investors are closely tracking the 2-day GST Council meet that started today.

The Council met representatives of six crucial sectors, including IT, telecom, banking and insurance, to assess implementation hurdles under the new regime. “Despite being plagued by volatility, benchmark indices in India traded the day on a positive note and closed with marginal gains. Strong opening in Europe coupled with relatively buoyant Asian stocks boosted domestic investor sentiment,” said Karthikraj Lakshmanan, Senior Fund Manager Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund. A firming trend in Asia after higher Chinese manufacturing numbers and higher opening in Europe contributed to the positive sentiment. PowerGrid led from the front, with a gain of 2.48%, with Axis Bank notching up 1.90%, Coal India 1.53%, Cipla 1.46%, GAIL 1.10% and ICICI Bank 1.07%. Bharti Airtel ended with most losses, down 2.36%, after it unveiled a free 4G data plan, followed by Hero MotoCorp 1.44% and Tata Motors 1.23%. Consumer durables gained the most by rising 3.01% followed by oil and gas (1.96%).

PSU rose 1.58%, power 1.04% and infrastructure 0.75%. The broader markets were also in better shape, with the small-cap index surging 1.03% and mid-cap 0.61%. Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.68% while Shanghai Composite index rose 1.04% today while Japanese markets remained closed today for an extended new year holiday. European shares also joined Asia as Frankfurt’s DAX climbed 0.25%, Paris CAC 0.51% and London’s FTSE 0.80%. Meanwhile, foreign funds net sold shares worth Rs 260.64 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.