Sensex at 2-week high ahead of RBI meet

MUMBAI: Resisting cautious sentiments ahead of the RBI’s monetary policy, the benchmark BSE Sensex on Monday rose by over 244 points to settle the day at 28,504.46, mainly led by surge in healthcare, FMCG and realty stocks.

The 30-share BSE barometer commenced on a firm note but succumbed to profit-booking and slipped to intra-day’s low of 28,221.99. However, sustained buying in healthcare, realty and FMCG stocks helped Sensex to end the day at over two-week high of 28,504.46, a rise of 0.86 per cent or 244.32 points.

The Sensex had closed at 28,622.12 on March 18. “It is indeed an achievement for the bulls as most of the market participants were keeping cautious stance ahead of monetary policy tomorrow,” said Jayant Manglik, President of retail distribution at Religare Securities.

The 50-share NSE Nifty also rose further by 73.65 points or 0.86 per cent to 8,659.90.

“Defensive stocks were moving ahead before the important policy meet tomorrow. As RBI is likely to hold rates, there is scope to surprise the market through CRR/SLR and assessment of future outlook,” said, Vinod Nair, Head-Fundamental Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

Banking stocks came under selling pressure ahead of the RBI meet, with ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Punjab National Bank, Bank of India among the major losers.

On Sensex, Sun Pharma stocks zoomed 8.34 per cent to close at a lifetime high of Rs 1,168.50. Whereas, Cipla and Dr Reddy’s rose by 3.59 per cent and 4.33 per cent, respectively.

Of the 30-share Sensex pack, 19 scrips ended higher while 11 finished lower.

Meanwhile, manufacturing sector activity in March rose amid stronger increase in new orders that led firms to boost production.

Among the BSE sectoral indices, Realty rose by 6.43 per cent, followed by Healthcare 4.84 per cent, FMCG 2.35 per cent, Consumer Durable 2.06 per cent, Capital Goods 1.44 per cent, Oil&Gas 1.26 per cent and Power 1.24 per cent.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 209.87 crore, while Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth Rs 197.25 crore on Wednesday as per provisional data.

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