Equity indices end higher; banking, finance stocks rise (Lead)

The key Indian equity indices ended on a positive note on Wednesday after a sharp surge in the last 30 minutes of trade.

Healthy buying was witnessed in the banking and finance stocks. The S&P BSE Banking index rose by 1.79 per cent and the Finance index settled 1.44 per cent higher.

Rahul Sharma, Head of Research, Equity Advisors said: “While Foreign Portfolio Investors remained active buyers in select private sector banks and NBFC stocks, traders and high-net-worth investors were seen chasing select state-owned companies, pharma and other beaten-down stocks.”

He noted that the overall market mood now has turned positive with the restriction on lockdown being gradually eased by the government across the country. Also, investor confidence is seen improving and most feel that worse is now behind us and the period of wait-and-watch is over for now, Sharma added.

Siddhartha Khemka, Head of Retail Research at Motilal Oswal Financial Services said: “Indian equity markets witnessed a range bound session today but finally managed to close near day’s high. Reliance Industries and financial heavyweights (HDFC, Kotak Mahindra Bank and ICICI Bank) lifted the market.”

He said that investors are awaiting the US Federal Reserve’s policy outcome, which will be the first since the US began to reopen.

On Wednesday, the BSE Sensex closed at 34,247.05, higher by 290.36 points or 0.86 per cent from its previous close of 33,956.69. It had opened at 34,029.14 and touched an intra-day high of 34,350.17 and a low of 33,949.46 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was at 10,116.15, higher by 69.50 points or 0.69 per cent from the previous close.