Benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty ended Monday's session on a positive note led by buying in pharma and IT counters. The S&P BSE Sensex gained 132 points to settle at 34,865 while NSE's Nifty50 index closed at 10,512.50, up 40 points. It was the second consecutive day that the stocks ended in the green.
However, gains were capped as rising oil prices, weakening rupee and rising inflation dampened investor sentiment amid weak Asian cues.
Asian shares slipped as worries over Sino-US trade disputes, a possible slowdown in the Chinese economy and higher US borrowing costs tempered optimism despite a rebound in global equities late last week.
Back home, the rupee opened weak, at 73.80/$ against its previous close of 73.57. During the trade, it slipped further and once again breached 74 levels. The domestic unit had hit a fresh low of Rs 74.48 per dollar on Friday. Going forward, any negative moves on the back of a strengthening dollar or rising crude is likely to strain the rupee as well.
The WPI Inflation for September rose to a two-month high of 5.13 per cent, mainly due to the hardening of food prices and the rise in the cost of petrol and diesel.
Among individual stocks, HUL fell over 4 per cent after the FMCG major reported a 19.5 per cent year-on-year growth in standalone profit to Rs 15.25 billion. The stock ended Rs 1,526.60 apiece on BSE, down 3 per cent.
Avenue Supermarts ended 6 per cent lower at Rs 1,333 after the company after margin disappointment in the second quarter of the current financial year 2018-19 (Q2FY19).
Among sectoral indices, shares of pharmaceutical companies advanced in an otherwise subdued market with Nifty Pharma index gaining over 2%.
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Lupin, and Biocon from the index were up in the range of 3% to 5%, while, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Cipla, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Cadila Healthcare, Aurobindo Pharma and Divi’s Laboratories up between 1% and 2% on the NSE.
IT stocks too rose in the trade. IT major Infosys ended nearly 4 per cent higher at Rs 703.30 apiece on BSE ahead of its Q2 results, due on Tuesday.