Sensex rises 114 pts; FMCG, auto stocks rally

Equity benchmark Sensex rose 114 points on Thursday as investors accumulated FMCG, auto and IT stocks amid gradual reopening of the economy.

After rising to an intra-day high of 31,188.79, the 30-share index settled 114.29 points or 0.37 per cent up at 30,932.90. The broader NSE Nifty advanced 39.70 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 9,106.25.

ITC was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying over 7 per cent, followed by Asian Paints, Hero MotoCorp, Maruti, Bajaj Auto, Sun Pharma, TCS and HCL Tech.

On the other hand, IndusInd Bank, NTPC, Bajaj Finance, HDFC and L&T were among the laggards.

Buying was seen in frontline stocks of sectors like auto, IT, metals and FMCG as traders took note of gradual opening of the economy, raising hopes of economic recovery, said Narendra Solanki, Head- Equity Research (Fundamental), Anand Rathi.

However, at the fag-end of the session, some selling was witnessed as negative global cues continued for the second straight day and traders booked profits as weekly expiry neared, leading to indices losing majority of the gains, he added.

Concerns over the long-term impact of COVID-19 and worsening China-US relations too kept investors on the edge, traders said.

The number of COVID-19 cases in India spiked to over 1.12 lakh, while the death toll rose to 3,435, according to the health ministry.

Globally, the number of cases linked to the disease has crossed 49.96 lakh and the death toll has topped 3.28 lakh.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo ended in the red, Seoul closed with gains.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading with significant losses in early deals.

International oil benchmark Brent crude futures climbed 1.79 per cent to USD 36.39 per barrel.

On the currency front, the rupee appreciated 19 paise to provisionally close at 75.61 against the US dollar.

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