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Sensex, Nifty Open Marginally Higher; ONGC Top Gainer

Mumbai: Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty opened on a positive note on Thursday tracking gains in index majors Infosys, Reliance Industries and SBI, despite a weak trend in global markets. The 30-share BSE index was trading 61.08 points or 0.12 per cent higher at 51,764.91.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty was quoting 18.20 points or 0.12 per cent up at 15,227.10. ONGC was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising around 3 per cent, followed by Tech Mahindra, SBI, Infosys, HCL Tech and Asian Paints. On the other hand, M&M, ICICI Bank, Bajaj Finance and Kotak Bank were among the laggards. In the previous session, Sensex slumped 400.34 points or 0.77 per cent to close at 51,703.83. The broader NSE Nifty tumbled 104.55 points or 0.68 per cent to 15,208.90.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 1,008.20 crore on Wednesday, according to exchange data. According to Binod Modi Head-Strategy at Reliance Securities, domestic equities look to be modestly positive at the moment. 3QFY21 earnings have been quite encouraging and a large number of companies succeeded to top consensus earnings estimate. This along with increased visibility of sustaining corporate earnings rebound after favourable announcements in the Union Budget emboldened investors, he said.

Persistent inflows from FPIs, which was the key driving force for markets in recent period, are expected to sustain, he added. US equities finished mostly lower on Wednesday. However, Dow Jones witnessed its third straight record close after minutes from FOMC’s January meeting echoed Powell’s last week of dovish statements. Fed policy makers reiterated that they need to see sustained inflation before considering the end of the bond buying programme. Hence, situations like taper tantrum are still away, in our view. Investors will be keenly watching out progress on passage of the quantum of fiscal stimulus in the near term, Modi said.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai were trading on a positive note in mid-session deals, while those in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were in the red. Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 1.24 per cent higher at USD 65.14 per barrel.

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