The Sensex and the Nifty advanced for the sixth straight session ahead of industrial production data and inflation data scheduled to be released later in the day. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 160.69 points or 0.47% to 34,101.13, as per the provisional closing data. The Nifty 50 index rose 41.50 points or 0.40% to 10,458.65, as per the provisional closing data. The Sensex reclaimed the crucial 34,000 level in intraday trade. Gains were backed by rally in IT shares and strength in select private sector banks. Metal shares declined.
Key indices opened on a dull note and firmed up as the session progressed. The Sensex rose 237 points, or 0.70% at the day's high of 34,177.44 in mid-afternoon trade, its highest intraday level since 1 March 2018. The index fell 15.56 points, or 0.05% at the day's low of 33,924.88 in early trade. The Nifty rose 52.75 points, or 0.51% at the day's high of 10,469.90 in mid-afternoon trade, its highest intraday level since 13 March 2018. The index fell 21.90 points, or 0.21% at the day's low of 10,395.25 in early trade.
The overall market breadth was negative as 1515 stocks were declining while 1144 were advancing on the BSE.
IT shares were in demand. HCL Technologies (up 4.25%), TCS (up 4.08%), Tech Mahindra (up 3.24%), MphasiS (up 2.9%), Hexaware Technologies (up 1.81%), Persistent Systems (up 1.78%), Oracle Financial Services Software (up 1.25%), MindTree (up 0.81%) and Wipro (up 0.42%), edged higher.
Metal shares declined. Steel Authority of India (down 3.58%), Vedanta (down 2.39%), Hindustan Zinc (down 1.65%), Tata Steel (down 1.65%), Jindal Steel & Power (down 1.35%), JSW Steel (down 1.2%), Hindustan Copper (down 1.14%), NMDC (down 0.37%) and Hindalco Industries (down 0.34%), edged lower. National Aluminium Company rose 1.40%.
On macro front, the government will announce industrial production data for February 2018 later today, 12 April 2018. India's industrial production rose by 7.5% year-on-year in January 2018.
The government will also disclose inflation data based on consumer price index (CPI) for March 2017 later today, 12 April 2018. The all-India general CPI inflation dipped to four-month low of 4.44% in February 2018, compared with 5.07% in January 2018.
Overseas, European markets were mixed as investor sentiment was curbed by the threat of imminent US military action in Syria. Asian shares declined after Syria tensions and hawkish statements from the US Federal Reserve dented investors' sentiment. US stocks declined on Wednesday, as worries about geopolitical developments deflated the buying mood on Wall Street. A tweet by President Donald Trump implied the possibility of a military strike in Syria and set the downbeat tone for the session.
Trump's tweet that Russia should "get ready" for a potential strike on Syria came after a likely chemical weapons attack over the weekend on a rebel-held town in the eastern Ghouta region of Syria. The newfound focus on geopolitics took the focus off a trade spat between the US and China.
Investors also digested the release of minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) March meeting, which reflected that all policymakers expected the US economy to continue growing and for inflation to rise. Those views strengthened the belief that more interest rate hikes lay ahead.
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