Value buying, GST buoy equity markets
Value buying coupled with domestic cues such as progress on the upcoming taxation reform -- the Goods and Services Tax (GST) -- aided the Indian equity markets recoup their losses to close on a flat-to-positive note on Friday.
According to market observers, investors' risk-taking appetite also rose on account of the upcoming meeting between Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and public sector banks' top executives on the sector's non-performing assets (NPAs) issue.
Index-wise, the Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) inched up by 21 points or 0.22 per cent to close at 9,668.25 points.
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 31,196.86 points, closed at 31,262.06 points -- up 48.70 points or 0.16 per cent from its previous close at 31,213.36 points.
It touched a high of 31,289.99 points and a low of 31,087.28 points during intra-day trade.
"The gains came on the back of positive global cues as most global stocks rose after the surprise UK general election result left the country facing a hung parliament," Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
"Broad market indices like the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices rose more and outperformed the main indices. Major Asian markets have ended on a mixed note. European indices like FTSE 100, CAC 40 and DAX traded higher."
In terms of broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index rose by 0.28 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.50 per cent.
Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services, said: "Early falls also attracted value buyers interested in the upcoming GST council meeting on Sunday and Finance Minister's meeting with banking heads to discuss NPA issues."
"Having undergone significant correction over a month, any positive outcome from discussion on NPA resolution might bring in immense buying interest in banking stocks," James added.
On the currency front, the rupee remained flat at 64.24-25 to a greenback from Thursday's close of 64.21-22 per US dollar.
In investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 100.99 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought scrips worth Rs 324.70 crore.
"Volume in equities as well as index future and options was noticeably higher than yesterday. Top gainers in NSE are VEDL, Maruti and Hindalco while top losers were TECHM, Gail and ITC," said Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls.
Sector-wise, the S&P automobile index gained 239.41 points, the metal index by 200.02 points, and the banking index by 137.86 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE consumer durables index declined by 88.38 points, the IT index by 77.43 points, and the finance index by 73.80 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Friday were: Maruti Suzuki, up 3.00 per cent at Rs 7,451; Tata Steel, up 1.47 per cent at Rs 506.30; Tata Motors, up 1.40 per cent at Rs 467.20; HDFC Bank, up 1.30 per cent at Rs 1,666.90; and Asian Paint, up 0.94 per cent at Rs 1,154.30.
Major Sensex losers were: Gail, down 1.99 per cent at Rs 380.95; ITC, down 1.73 per cent at Rs 306.20; Wipro, down 1.61 per cent at Rs 536.75; Infosys, down 0.80 per cent at Rs 948.65; and ONGC, down 0.73 per cent at Rs 169.15.