Sensex, Nifty edge higher in rangebound trade; GAIL, Power Grid rise

Reuters Bengaluru, Karnataka, India Dec 30, 2019, 10.48 AM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

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In the penultimate trading session of the year, the NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.20 per cent at 12,270.65 by 0438 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex was 0.21 per cent higher at 41,661.65.

 Indian shares rose modestly on Monday as blue-chip stocks moved in a tight range, with Power Grid Corp and GAIL Ltd gaining about 1.5 per cent each.

In the penultimate trading session of the year, the NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.20 per cent at 12,270.65 by 0438 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex was 0.21 per cent higher at 41,661.65.

The Nifty has climbed 13 per cent so far in 2019, while Sensex has gained 15.6 per cent.

Asian stock markets hovered around an 18-month high on Monday, as Chinese equities gained after an upbeat forecast for retail sales and expectations that a new benchmark for loans could lower borrowing costs and boost growth.

Vodafone Idea Ltd was the outlier on the index with a nearly 7 per cent gain. Rival telecom firm Bharti Airtel Ltd hiked prices on its prepaid plans starting Sunday, according to media reports.

"Market (is) likely to stay rangebound ahead of the year-end," analysts at Motilal Oswal Financial Services said in a report.

Meanwhile, India's small- and mid-cap stocks rose more than their larger peers. The S&P BSE MidCap index was up 0.4 per cent, while the S&P BSE SmallCap index gained 0.56 per cent.

"The fact that small- and mid-caps have started to perform has given some boost to sentiment," said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities in Mumbai. "Small- and mid caps have underperformed for two years and they do have value."

Shares in Prince Pipes and Fittings fell 10.1 per cent in their stock market debut. The polymer pipes manufacturer's listing comes as Indian initial public offerings tumbled to a 4-year low by value in 2019 as the economy slowed.

Shares in cigarettes-to-hotels conglomerate ITC rose 1.1 per cent, while those in Power Grid Corp of India and GAIL rose about 1 per cent each.

The gains in the latter two stocks came even as the PTI news agency reported that India's department of telecom had ruled out any relief from its side on the dues owed to it by Power Grid, GAIL, and other non-telecom companies.