Sensex, Nifty rise on gains in metal, commodity stocks

Rising for the third straight session, equity benchmark indices recovered early losses to end in positive territory on Wednesday, supported by buying in metal, commodity and energy stocks amid encouraging WPI inflation data.

Cautious trading, however, prevailed in the market as investors preferred to stay on the sidelines ahead of the announcement of the US Fed interest rate decision later in the day.

The 30-share BSE Sensex climbed 85.35 points or 0.14 per cent to settle at 63,228.51. During the day, it hit a high of 63,274.03 and a low of 63,013.51.

The NSE Nifty advanced 39.75 points or 0.21 per cent to end at 18,755.90.

“With improving macros, supported by FII buying, the overall structure of the markets remains positive. Investors would take cues from the outcome US Fed meeting on policy rate and Fed Chair’s commentary would hold importance. Also on Thursday ECB and the Bank of Japan would come out with a policy decision.

” Sectorially it was a mixed bag with Metals and Oil & Gas being top gainers. Metals stocks remained in the limelight after China’s central bank cut interest rates and unveiled stimulus measures,” Siddhartha Khemka, Head – Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd, said.

Tata Steel was the biggest gainer in the Sensex chart, rising 2.39 per cent, followed by Tata Motors, Power Grid, Reliance Industries, UltraTech Cement, NTPC, Nestle, HUL, Mahindra & Mahindra, Wipro, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Asian Paints.

In contrast, Bajaj Finance, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Finserv, ICICI Bank, Infosys and Titan were among the laggards.

In the broader market, the BSE smallcap gauge climbed 0.42 per cent and the midcap index advanced 0.20 per cent.

Among the indices, metal jumped 1.60 per cent, commodities climbed 1.03 per cent, oil & gas (0.88 per cent), energy (0.86 per cent), utilities (0.63 per cent) and power (0.63 per cent).

Financial Services, banks, capital goods, IT and teck were the laggards.

“The recent recovery in the Nifty index lacks decisiveness due to underperformance from the banking index and we expect this divergence to end soon. Meanwhile, buying in heavyweights like Reliance has played a critical role in keeping the tone positive,” said Ajit Mishra, SVP – Technical Research, Religare Broking Ltd.

The wholesale price-based inflation rate fell to a 3-year low of (-) 3.48 per cent in May on easing prices of food, fuel and manufactured items, strengthening the case for continuing with the pause in a rate hike in the coming months of the current fiscal.

This is the second straight month when WPI has been in the negative zone, mainly due to a higher base and falling prices of fuel and manufactured goods. Food prices also eased during May.

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

Equity markets in Europe were trading with gains. The US markets ended in positive territory on Tuesday.

“The domestic indices rebounded after an initial phase of profit booking, driven by encouraging WPI inflation data and positive global cues, while selling in IT and banking stocks kept a check on gains. The favourable decline in US inflation, driven by lower energy prices, and speculation about a potential pause in the Fed rate hike campaign, brought comfort to global equities.

“However, the persistence of higher core inflation levels may compel the Fed to maintain its hawkish tone during today’s policy announcement with an indication of a prolonged pause,” Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 1.08 per cent to USD 75.09 a barrel.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought equities worth Rs 1,677.60 crore on Tuesday, according to exchange data.

Climbing for the second straight session, the BSE benchmark had jumped 418.45 points or 0.67 per cent to settle at 63,143.16 on Tuesday. The Nifty rose 114.65 points or 0.62 per cent to end at 18,716.15.