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Sensex rises for 4th consecutive day, Nifty fails to hold 7250


Moneycontrol Bureau

The market closed higher for fourth consecutive session on Monday, driven by oil & gas, pharma, metals and select banks stocks. Positive global cues also supported Indian equities.

The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 79.64 points to 23788.79 and the 50-share NSE Nifty reclaimed 7250 intraday, up 23.80 points to close at 7234.55 amid volatility. The broader markets outperformed benchmarks with the BSE Midcap rising 0.75 percent.

Experts feel the market may remain rangebound ahead of expiry of February derivative contracts due on February 25 and Union Budget that is scheduled to be announced on February 29.

Investor concerns currently are veering toward the Budget as there are obvious worries with respect to rumours of the definition of long-term capital gains period being changed, says C Jayaram of Kotak Mahindra Bank.

However, consensus view is that the Budget will be largely positive as expectations are low. Jayaram says, post the Budget, there is a possibility that the market may form a firm bottom on the back of feel-good factor and then move ahead.

Globally, European equities were higher, buoyed by a positive trend set in Asia and a rebound in commodity prices. France’s CAC, Germany’s DAX and Britain’s FTSE were up 1-2 percent (at 16 hours IST). In Asia, Shanghai jumped 2.4 percent followed by Hang Seng and Nikkei with nearly 1 percent upside. Oil extended rally with the Brent and Nymex crude rising over 3 percent.

Pharma stocks saw buying interest today. Sun Pharma gained more than 2 percent and Lupin was up over a percent as Credit Suisse said Sun got 48 percent market share in Gleevec generic (used to treat blood cancer) against guidance of 30 percent and Lupin got 45 percent market share in Glumetza generic (antihyperglycemic drug) & 57 percent in new prescriptions. Additionally, Lupin and Gavis will divest two generic drugs as a part of Federal Trade Commission’s requirement.

Strides Shasun rose 1.6 percent as sources told CNBC-TV18 that US FDA completed inspection of its Bangalore facility, which was largely in line.

Maruti Suzuki was down 1.6 percent as the auto manufacturer is reeling under Jat reservation agitation in Haryana. “Due to agitation in Rohtak, supplies of certain components have been disrupted. The company has temporarily suspended manufacturing cars at Manesar and Gurgaon starting February 20,” it said in a statement to BSE.

ITC fell 1.7 percent on fears of likely increase in excise duty on tobacco (the biggest contributor to company’s revenue) in the upcoming Budget. Motilal Oswal expects a blended excise duty increase of 10 percent.

Among others, HUL topped buying list on Sensex with 4 percent rally. Reliance Industries, Axis Bank, ONGC, Dr Reddy’s Labs, Cipla and Bajaj Auto gained 1-2 percent while Adani Ports, NTPC and GAIL declined 1-2 percent.

The market breadth remained positive throughout session. About 1382 shares advanced against 1166 declining shares on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

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