Mkts make marginal gains in cautious trade

Mkts make marginal gains in cautious trade

Sensex inches up by 22 pts; Nifty settles at 11,597

Mumbai: Benchmark equity indices ended with marginal gains on Thursday, with investors largely remaining on the sidelines as voting began in the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls.

The 30-share BSE Sensex inched up 21.66 points, or 0.06 per cent, to close at 38,607.01. The broader NSE Nifty settled 12.40 points, or 0.11 per cent, higher at 11,596.70.

Traders said market mood was cautious as polling began in 91 constituencies spread across 18 states and two union territories in the first phase of the general elections. Participants also awaited key earnings and macro data due Friday, they added.

"Market was range bound and finally settled with minor gains as investors stayed cautious at the start of the initial phase of polling and remained watchful ahead of the announcement of CPI and IIP data tomorrow. Pick up in auto sales aided the sector to gain investors' attention," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

Sectorally, BSE energy, telecom and oil and gas indices rose up to 1.11 per cent, while BSE metal, IT and teck dropped up to 1.18 per cent. Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased equity worth a net Rs 1,429.92 crore on Wednesday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares to the tune of Rs 461.29 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed.

The oil benchmark Brent crude futures fell 0.44 per cent to $71.29 per barrel. Meanwhile, the rupee appreciated 11 paise to 69 against the US dollar intra-day.

Asian markets were subdued on growth concerns, while trade tensions further dented risk appetite. In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng tumbled 0.93 per cent, while Shanghai Composite Index plunged 1.60 per cent.

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