Mumbai: Rising for the fourth straight session, the Sensex and Nifty closed near five-month highs today on widespread buying even as telecom stocks tumbled after Reliance Jio announced new tariff plans.
Shares of consumer durables, banking, finance, oil and gas, industrial and capital goods sectors posted a robust show, while telecom, teck and IT ended in the red.
Brokers said long positions built up by participants, including foreign funds, and covering-up of short positions ahead of February month's derivatives expiry on Thursday added to the momentum.
The 30-share Sensex resumed higher at 28,716.70 and hovered between 28,801.00 and 28,597.33 before ending at a five-month closing high of 28,761.59, showing a gain of 100.01 points or 0.35 percent. The gauge had last ended at 28,773.13 on September 22, 2016.
The index had gained 506.02 points in the previous three sessions.
The NSE 50-share Nifty also rose by 28.65 points or 0.32 percent to close above the 8,900-level after five months at 8,907.85. The Nifty had last closed at 8,952.50 on September 8, 2016.
"Markets opened on a positive note but slipped into the negative territory, only to recoup losses in the latter half of the trading session," said Karthikraj Lakshmanan, Senior Fund Manager – Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.
Bharti Airtel was the worst performer in the 30-share Sensex pack, while the S&P BSE Telecom index fell the most among BSE sectoral indices after RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani unveiled Reliance Jio's new voice and data offers, including 20 percent more data than any rival from April 1.
Reliance Jio will continue to offer free voice calls and national roaming post April 1, when its promotional free voice and data offer ends, he added.
Axis Bank surged 4.99 percent on reports of merger with another private lender, which the bank has denied.
Select steel stocks rose after the government yesterday extended anti-dumping duty on import of certain steel products from China for five years with an aim to protect domestic players from cheap shipments.
Major gainers were Jindal Saw, Jindal Steel and Power and Maharashtra Seamless, rising up to 9.59 percent.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 433.38 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.
Globally, other Asian stock markets were mixed as investors awaited minutes from the US Federal Reserve's latest meeting and Wall Street prepared to reopen after a three-day weekend.
Japan's Nikkei ended 0.68 percent higher, Shanghai's Composite Index rose 0.41 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 0.76 percent lower.
European markets were trading mixed in early deals with Frankfurt up 0.40 percent and Paris rising 0.07 percent. London's FTSE fell 0.29 percent.
Updated Date: Feb 21, 2017 17:55 PM