Sensex, Nifty rise on sustained foreign fund inflow

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Mumbai, Mar 20 (PTI) Benchmark indices opened on a positive note Wednesday on sustained foreign fund inflow ahead of March derivatives expiry.

However, gains were capped as Asian shares fell across the board in line with overnight drop in US stocks. Rising crude oil prices too worried investors.

The 30-share Sensex was trading 80.70 points, or 0.21 per cent, higher at 38,444.17. The gauge had gained nearly 1,500 points in the previous seven sessions.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty rose 11.35 points, to 11,543.75.

Infosys, Vedanta, HCL Tech, L&T, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank and TCS were trading in the green.

While, top losers were ONGC, NTPC, Coal India, Kotak Bank, SBI, M&M, IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Motors, Asian Paint, PowerGrid and ITC Ltd, falling up to 1.69 per cent.

Sectoral indices led by oil and gas, PSU, auto, bankex, power and consumer durables were trading in the negative zone, falling up to 1.22 per cent.

Brokers said sentiment was bullish on strong buying by foreign institutional investors (FIIs), but subdued overseas cues and emergence profit-booking at existing higher levels capped the gains.

On a net basis, FIIs bought shares worth Rs 2,132.36 crore Tuesday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth Rs 1,253.67 crore, provisional data showed.

In the Asian region, Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.03 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.50 per cent and Singapore’s Straits Times was down 0.63 per cent in their late morning trade. Japan’s Nikkei, however, was up 0.08 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.01 per cent lower in Tuesday’s trade.

The rupee, meanwhile, fell 19 paise to 69.15 against the US dollar in early trade Wednesday after crude price rose to a four-month high in global market amid increased demand for the American currency from importers.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, was trading at USD 67.47 per barrel.

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