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Sensex ends lower after choppy trade; top gainer M&M soars 6%

Sensex ends lower after choppy   trade; top gainer M&M soars 6%
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Mumbai: Snapping its three-day record-setting run, the BSE Sensex closed marginally lower after a choppy session on Wednesday as investors pocketed gains in banking and finance stocks amid mixed global cues.

Participants also kept their powder dry ahead of some key corporate results, traders said.

After gyrating over 721 points during the day, the 30-share BSE index ended 24.79 points or 0.05 per cent lower at 49,492.32. It scaled a record intra-day peak of 49,795.19.

The broader NSE Nifty inched up 1.40 points or 0.01 per cent to its fresh closing record of 14,564.85. The index touched a lifetime high of 14,653.35 during the day.

M&M was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying 6.24 per cent, followed by SBI, ITC, NTPC, Bharti Airtel and Axis Bank.

On the other hand, Bajaj Finance, HDFC, Bajaj Finserv, Titan, Sun Pharma and Dr Reddy's were among the laggards, tumbling up to 2.85 per cent.

Declining vegetable prices brought down the retail inflation to a 15-month low of 4.59 per cent in December and within the comfort zone of the Reserve Bank, government data showed post market hours on Tuesday.

Industrial production contracted by 1.9 per cent in November, entering the negative territory after a two-month gap, mainly due to poor showing by manufacturing and mining sectors.

Sector-wise, BSE telecom, auto, oil and gas, bankex, teck, power and IT indices rose up to 1.32 per cent, while consumer durables, healthcare, finance, energy, realty and basic materials closed in the red.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices slipped up to 0.63 per cent.

Announcing their results after market hours on Wednesday, Infosys reported a 16.6 per cent rise in consolidated net profit at Rs 5,197 crore for the December 2020 quarter, while Wipro posted a 21 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 2,968 crore.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Hong Kong ended with losses, while Seoul and Tokyo were in the positive territory.

Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading with gains in early deals.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.28 per cent higher at $56.74 per barrel.

The rupee gained for the second straight day and closed 10 paise higher at 73.15 against the US dollar, supported by sustained foreign fund inflows.

Foreign institutional investors purchased shares worth a net Rs 571.47 crore on Tuesday, according to provisional exchange data.

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