Sensex, Nifty fail to hold life highs; ticked higher at close

Mumbai, Jan 16 (PTI) Benchmarks Sensex and Nifty on Thursday eked out gains but retreated from record highs touched in early trade as optimism over US-China trade deal short-lived after investors weighed macroeconomic issues like higher bank NPAs and a spike in retail inflation.

Starting off on a bullish note, the 30-share BSE Sensex went on to hit its life-time high of 42,059.45 in early deals. It, however, briefly moved into the negative territory before staging a recovery. The index finally settled at 41,932.56, up 59.83 points, or 0.14 per cent.

Likewise, the broader NSE Nifty also touched its all-time intraday high of 12,389.05 in early trade. It, however, closed at 12,355.50, showing a gain of 12.20 points, or 0.10 per cent.

Nestle India was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising 3.23 per cent, followed by Kotak Bank, HUL, Bharti Airtel, RIL, TCS, PowerGrid and Titan.

On the other hand, NTPC, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Steel, Tech Mahindra and Axis Bank finished in the red.

Of the 30 Sensex constituents, 12 closed in the green and 18 in the red.

Sectorally, BSE realty, consumer durables, healthcare, telecom, FMCG, energy and auto indices ended up to 0.97 per cent higher.

On the other hand, metal and oil and gas were among the losers.

In the broader market, BSE midcap and smallcap indices gained up to 0.78 per cent.

'The main indices are seeing a mild pause in the trajectory after the solid performance in the last one-month. It may wait and analyse the upcoming key companies' Q3 results. Globally, the completion of the US-China deal and sudden jump in consumer inflation and NPAs in India are impacting the main indices. But broad market is still very solid in expectation of re-rate in valuation supported by revamp in earnings growth,' Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said.

Globally, investors heaved a sigh of relief after the US and China on Wednesday signed the first phase of a trade deal, concluding more than a year of tough negotiations between the two largest economies of the world.

Bourses in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended higher. While Shanghai closed in the red.

European markets too started on a positive note.

Brent crude oil futures rose 0.52 per cent to USD 64.33 per barrel.

The Indian rupee depreciated by 11 paise to close at 70.93 to the US dollar. PTI ANS MKJ