Mumbai: In a lacklustre trading due to shortened week and a cautious approach adopted by investors ahead of Q4 results starting next weekend, the benchmark Sensex gained for the second week in a row.
It rose 82 points to end at 17,486.02 on buying mainly in consumer durable, capital goods, power and banking stocks.
The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) were closed on April 5 and 6 on account of 'Mahavir Jayanti' and 'Good Friday', respectively.
Players decided to play safe following two days holiday in the week and also lack of any major trigger due to trading holidays across the region this week.
Interest rate sensitive stocks from banking and realty segments too attracted good buying support on hopes of RBI cutting key rates in the coming months to prop up a faltering economy.
But some of the market participants expected no cut in the rates due to higher inflation and high fiscal deficit.
The BSE 30-share barometer rose for the first two days of the week and touched a two-week high of 17,664.10, but fell on Wednesday on profit-booking to settle at 17,486.02, showing a rise of 81.82 points, or 0.47 percent. Last week, it had risen marginally by 42.46 points, or 0.24 percent.
The NSE broader 50-issue Nifty also improved further by 27.35 points, or 0.52 percent, to settle the week at 5,322.90.
"Volumes were very low on three trading days due to a string of holidays. I think traders were hesitant to carry positions ahead of the holidays," CNI Research CMD Kishor P Ostwal said.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought shares worth Rs 369.20 crore on April 3, taking the total to over Rs 45,000 crore in 2012 so far.
Among negative factors, India's manufacturing sector witnessed the third consecutive month of decline in March as output and new order growth weakened amid power cuts leading to capacity constraints, an HSBC survey said.
The HSBC India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) -- a measure of factory production -- stood at 54.7 in March, down from 56.6 in February. In January, the PMI stood at 57.5. A reading above 50 shows that the sector is growing, while a reading below 50 means the segment is contracting.
Indian rupee fell sharply below 51 against the US dollar, dampening the market sentiment as oil and other imports will take a hit.
Second-line counters attracted retail investor buying and outperformed the Sensex. The BSE-Smallcap and Midcap indices gained 3.25 percent and 2.01 percent, respectively.
In all, 18 scrips from the Sensex pack settled in the green, while the others closed in the red. BHEL spurted by 6.46 percent, SBI by 3.31 per cent, NTPC by 3.10 per cent, Hindalco by 2.82 percent, L&T by 2.95 percent, ONGC by 2.28 percent, DLF by 1.34 per cent and HDFC Bank by 1.26 percent.
However, Jindal Steel dipped by 3.50 percent, Bajaj Auto by 2.69 percent, HUL by 2.53 percent, Maruti Suzuki by 2.28 percent, Hero MotoCorp by 2.15 percent, Bharti Airtel 2.00 percent, Infosys Tech by 0.51 percent, Gail India by 0.96 percent and Sun Pharma by 0.94 percent.
Among the sectoral indices, BSE-CD flared up by 6.39 percent, BSE-CG by 3.30 percent, BSE-Power by 3.21 percent, BSE-PSU by 2.07 per cent, Bankex by 1.48 percent and BSE-Realty by 1.16 per cent while BSE-HC declined by 0.84 percent and BSE-Auto by 0.70 per cent.
The total turnover at BSE and NSE was low due to truncated week at Rs 6,415.45 crore and Rs 28,624.34 crore, respectively.
First Published: Saturday, April 7, 2012, 14:59