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Sensex, Nifty log 5th session of gains

Mumbai: Market gauges Sensex and Nifty extended gains for the fifth straight session on Tuesday, helped by intense buying in financial stocks as investors brushed aside surging domestic COVID-19 cases to focus on monsoon progress.

After swinging between gains and losses during the session, the BSE Sensex finally ended 187.24 points or 0.51 per cent higher at 36,674.52; while the NSE Nifty settled with 36 points or 0.33 per cent gains at 10,799.65 -- the longest winning streak for both gauges in a month.

The rupee declined by 25 paise to end at 74.93 against the US currency due to dollar buying by foreign banks and gains in the greenback in overseas markets.

Forex traders said foreign fund inflows and easing crude oil prices supported the rupee while factors like strong dollar and rising COVID-19 cases dragged down the local unit.

The rupee opened weak at 74.74 at the interbank forex market and fell further to touch an intra-day low of 74.97.

The unit settled at 74.93 against the US dollar, down by 25 paise over its previous close of 74.68, marking its second straight day of losses.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.26 per cent to 96.97.

On the Sensex chart, Bajaj Finance was the top gainer, rallying around 8 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finserv, Infosys, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and HCL Tech.

On the other hand, NTPC, ITC, PowerGrid, Tata Steel and ONGC were among the laggards.

Sectorally, BSE IT, bankex, finance, teck and auto indices ended up to 2.10 per cent higher; while oil and gas, utilities, metal, energy and telecom indices fell up to 2.42 per cent.

Broader midcap and smallcap indices rose up to 0.58 per cent.

"Bulls were in complete control as evident in the breadth of the market with financials leading the charge. A good monsoon also cheered a host of companies in auto parts and farm equipment as a feel good factor returned with more participation seen from Investors," S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities, said.

Analysts also attributed the Indian equities performance to easing tensions between India and China at Ladakh border.

Investor sentiment was further boosted by other positive factors like sustained foreign fund inflows.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market on Monday, purchasing equities worth Rs 348.35 crore, provisional exchange data showed.

Bourses in Shanghai ended with marginal gains, while those in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul closed in the red.

Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading on a negative note in early deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude futures fell 1.02 per cent to $42.66 per barrel.

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