Sensex opens higher over 53 points despite weak macro data ahead of Karnataka Assembly poll results; Re gains 12 paise

Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex rose over 53 points in early trade today despite disappointing macroeconomic data.

The 30-share barometer, which had gained 289.52 points in the previous session, was trading higher by 53.21 points, or 0.14 percent, at 35,589, with realty, oil and gas, healthcare, PSU, banking and capital goods stocks leading the gains.

On similar lines, the NSE Nifty went up by 15.55 points, or 0.14 percent, to 10,822.05.

Industrial output growth fell to a five-month low of 4.4 percent in March due to a decline in capital goods production and deceleration in mining activity and power generation, according to official data released after market hours on Friday.

Inflation data will be released later today.

A firm trend at other Asian markets following positive leads from Wall Street and unabated buying by domestic institutional investors (DIIs) supported the gains, brokers said.

DIIs bought shares worth a net Rs 1,163.35 crore, while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares to the tune of Rs 325.44 crore on Friday, as per provisional data.

On the political front, most exit polls indicated a tight race between the BJP and Congress in Karnataka, where assembly elections were held on Saturday.

Major gainers were Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy’s, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Wipro, IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel, ITC Ltd, Hero MotoCorp, SBI and HUL, rising up to 1.83 percent.

Globally, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 1.29 percent, Shanghai’s Composite index rose 0.55 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.24 percent in early trade.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.37 percent higher on Friday.

Rupee gains

The rupee strengthened by 12 paise to 67.21 against the dollar in early trade today on fresh selling of the US currency by exporters and banks amid higher opening in the domestic equity market.

Forex dealers attributed the rise in the rupee to weakness of the dollar against other currencies overseas. However, industrial output growing by 4.4 percent in March, the slowest in five months, capped the rupee gains, they added.

On Friday, the rupee had settled almost flat at 67.33 against the US currency in highly volatile trade amid weak dollar cues.

Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex rose 37.19 points, or 0.10 per cent, at 35,572.98 in early trade today.

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