Sensex, Nifty end marginally lower; PowerGrid rallies 6 pc

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Mumbai, Feb 16 (PTI) Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty ended marginally lower on Tuesday as investors booked profits at higher levels amid a mixed trend in global markets.

After touching a lifetime high of 52,516.76 in the opening session, the 30-share BSE Sensex settled 49.96 points or 0.10 per cent lower at 52,104.17.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty inched 1.25 points or 0.01 per cent lower to close at 15,313.45.

Axis Bank was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding 2.42 per cent, followed by ICICI Bank, Infosys, Nestle India, SBI, TCS and HUL.

On the other hand, PowerGrid rallied over 6 per cent. ONGC, NTPC, Kotak Bank, Reliance Industries and Maruti Suzuki were among the other gainers.

'Market, though volatile, kept its momentum during the morning hours, however, failing to hold on to it due to a weak opening of European markets. The downfall was aggravated by private banks, IT and FMCG stocks while mid and small caps continued their outperformance.

'Increased interest was seen in PSU Banks as the government shortlisted four banks for privatisation. The Indian market has been absorbing the global trend these days and we expect that to continue due to the lack of any major domestic event,' said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Sector-wise, BSE power, utilities, metal, energy, oil and gas, basic materials and healthcare indices ended with gains, while IT, teck, FMCG, consumer durables and bankex finished in the red.

In the broader markets, the BSE midcap and smallcap indices rose up to 0.43 per cent.

Global equities were mixed as investors monitored the COVID-19 vaccines rollout amid rising cases in many countries.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended with gains.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a mixed note in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.09 per cent lower at USD 63.24 per barrel.

The rupee settled just 1 paisa lower at 72.69 against the US dollar.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 1,234.15 crore on Monday, according to exchange data. PTI ANS ABM ABM