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Markets settle with modest gains in highly volatile trade

Markets settle with modest gains in highly volatile trade
Mumbai, Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty eked out marginal gains to settle in the positive zone after a highly volatile trade on Wednesday, helped by buying in index majors Infosys, ITC and Reliance Industries. However, foreign fund outflows from the equity market restricted the upmove in stocks, traders said.

In a choppy session, the 30-share BSE Sensex climbed 92.47 points or 0.14 per cent to settle at 66,023.24. During the day, it fell to a low of 65,664.85 and touched a high of 66,063.43.

The Nifty edged higher by 28.45 points or 0.14 per cent to 19,811.85.

"Investors are following global markets, which are mostly sluggish with a mixed bias. Due to lack of fresh positive triggers, investors are trading cautiously and taking selective bets," Prashanth Tapse, Research Analyst, Sr VP Research, Mehta Equities Ltd, said.

Among the Sensex firms, Infosys, NTPC, Power Grid, Titan, ITC, Tech Mahindra, Hindustan Unilever, Axis Bank, Tata Consultancy Services, Bajaj Finserv, Reliance Industries and UltraTech Cement were the biggest gainers.

In contrast, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, JSW Steel, HDFC Bank and Maruti were the major laggards.

In the broader market, the BSE midcap gauge climbed 0.33 per cent, while smallcap index declined 0.63 per cent.

Among the indices, power jumped 1.41 per cent, auto climbed 0.64 per cent, teck (0.52 per cent), FMCG (0.34 per cent), capital goods (0.38 per cent) and oil & gas (0.36 per cent).

Commodities, financial services, industrials, telecommunication and bankex were among the laggards.

Underlining that the banking system continues to be resilient and there is no immediate cause of worry for the system, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday advised lenders to be more cautious and spot any trend of risk building early.

"While banks and NBFCs are showing good performance now, sustaining it requires concerted efforts. In good times like these, banks and NBFCs need to reflect and introspect as to where potential risks could possibly originate," he said.

At a time when the system is reporting robust credit growth, Das asked lenders to avoid any form of "exuberance" in their business and to ensure that sectoral and sub-sectoral exposures are "sustainable".

In Asian markets, Seoul and Tokyo settled in the green, while Shanghai and Hong Kong ended lower.

Europan markets were trading mostly with gains. The US markets ended in negative territory on Tuesday.

"Despite the US Fed adopting a cautious stance in its minutes and refraining from indicating a rate cut, the market recovered from the day's correction and ended with mild gain. On the other hand, the broad market witnessed some profit-booking as investors' focus shifted to the primary market, marked by a set of IPOs scheduled for this week.

"However, the undercurrent is positive, with a cooling of inflation and an easing US bond yield supporting a short- to medium-term rally," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude declined 0.46 per cent to USD 82.07 a barrel.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) offloaded equities worth Rs 455.59 crore on Tuesday, according to exchange data.

The BSE benchmark climbed 275.62 points or 0.42 per cent to settle at 65,930.77 on Tuesday. The Nifty went up by 89.40 points or 0.45 per cent to 19,783.40.

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