Sensex, Nifty Edge Higher; Bajaj Finance, ONGC Top Gainers

The Indian equity benchmarks edged higher on Wednesday, defying the weak cues from other Asian markets. The 30-share Sensex rose as much as 197 points and Nifty 50 index moved above its important psychological level of 17,850. Asian shares dropped on Wednesday, reversing early gains, after an overnight rebound in US and European stocks as investors shrugged off worries about a potential US government debt default, while oil paused near new multi-year highs. The gains in oil are driven by concerns about energy supply, and come two days after the OPEC+ group of producers stuck to its planned output increase rather than raising it further.

As of 9:19 am, the Sensex was up 142 points at 59,887 and Nifty 50 index advanced 47 points to 17,869.

US crude rose to its highest level since 2014 on Wednesday but pared gains and was last off 0.09 per cent to $78.87 a barrel. Brent crude lost 0.08 per cent to $82.49 per barrel, having hit a three-year high in the previous session.

In equity markets, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.6 per cent, reversing early gains, while Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.78 per cent.

Overnight, on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.92 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 1.05 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.25 per cent.

Back home, buying was visible across the board as all the 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading higher led by the Nifty Oil & Gas index’s over 1 per cent gain.

Nifty PSU Bank, Realty, FMCG, Auto, Financial Services and Media indices also rose between 0.4-1 per cent.

Mid- and small-cap shares were also witnessing buying interest as Nifty Midcap 100 index rose 0.31 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index advanced 0.7 per cent.

ONGC was the top Nifty gainer for second straight session. The stock rose over 4 per cent to hit fresh 52-week high of Rs 172.75 on the back of rising crude oil prices in international markets. Brent Crude rose to multi-year high of $83 per barrel.

Indian Oil, UPL, Coal India, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Finance, Bharat Petroleum, State Bank of India, NTPC, Tata Consumer Products, Britannia Industries and Power Grid also rose between 0.74-3.3 per cent.

On the flipside, Titan, Divi’s Labs, SBI Life, IndusInd Bank, Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy’s Labs, Maruti Suzuki, Tech Mahindra, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Hindustan Unilever were among the losers.

The overall market was extremely positive as 1,980 shares were advancing while 684 were declining on the BSE.

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