Equities trade flat-to-positive; healthy run in capital goods, metals

Key Indian equity indices — the NSE Nifty50 and the BSE Sensex — traded on a flat-to-positive note during the mid-afternon trade session on Friday, buoyed by good buying activities in capital goods and metal stocks.

According to market observers, heavy selling pressure in index heavyweights like Dr. Reddy’s Lab, Mahindra and Mahondra, ONGC and Sun Pharma, among others, capped gains.

At 12.45 p.m., the wider 51-scrip Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was up 14.15 points, or 0.14 per cent, to trade at 9,944.05 points.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 31,694.15 points, traded at 31,701.10 points — up 38.36 points, or 0.12 per cent, from its previous close at 31,662.74 points.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 31,763.70 points and a low of 31,642.79 points during intra-day trade.

However, the BSE market breadth was bearish — with 1,237 declines and 1,181 advances.

“Benchmark indices were trading marginally higher in the morning deals, tracking Asian peers, in absence of any major cues. The sentiment was affected after European Central Bank Chief Mario Draghi maintained asset purchases at 60 billion euros ($72 billion) a month until December, and reiterated their pledge to increase the size or duration if the economy worsens,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.

“Major gainers that lifted the key indices included L&T, Tata Steel, Coal India, Cipla, HDFC Bank, ITC, Hindustan Unilever, HDFC, Hero MotoCorp, ONGC, Lupin, TCS and Reliance Industries, rising up to 1.28 per cent,” he added.

On Thursday, the benchmark indices closed on a flat note. The Nifty50 was up 13.70 points, or 0.14 per cent, to close at 9,929.90 points, while the Sensex closed at 31,662.74 points — fractionally up 0.77 points.

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