Sensex Ends Marginally Higher; Auto And Consumer Durable Stocks Witness Buying

Indian share markets continued to trade near the dotted line during closing hours and ended the day marginally higher. Gains were largely seen in the auto sector and consumer durables sector, while power stocks and realty stocks witnessed selling pressure.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 34 points (up 0.1%) and the NSE Nifty closed higher by 22 points (up 0.2%). The BSE Mid Cap index closed down by 0.5%, while the BSE Small Cap index ended the day down by 0.9%.

Asian stock markets finished on a mixed note as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng stood up by 0.2% and the Nikkei was trading down by 0.2%.

European markets were trading on a positive note. The FTSE 100 was up by 1.1%. The DAX was trading up by 0.9%, while the CAC 40 was up by 0.8%.

The rupee was trading at 71.74 to the US$ at the time of writing.

The rupee witnessed selling pressure today ahead of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) policy statement that will be released later this week.

Market participants are expecting that the central bank could consider cutting rates by 25 basis points (bps). However, any change in the stance could trigger further volatility for the Indian rupee.

This will be RBI governor's first policy meeting and a dovish stance could put the currency under pressure.

In its December monetary policy review, the RBI had kept interest rates unchanged but held out a promise to cut them if the upside risks to the inflation do not materialize.

Data available with NSE showed foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold Rs 1.1 billion worth of domestic stocks on Monday. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were also net sellers and sold equities to the tune of Rs 650 million.

Note that FPIs bought Rs 13.2 billion worth of domestic stocks on Friday on the back of budget announcements made last week, data available with NSE suggested.

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