The BSE benchmark Sensex on Tuesday closed 31 points up on funds buying mainly in banking and healthcare stocks as inflation eased to over three years low.

After a better start, the Sensex fell to the day’s low of 19,652.69 before ending with a gain of 30.62 points, or 0.16 per cent, to close at 19,722.29.

Brokers said the buying activity was mostly confined to banking and healthcare sectors as inflation eased to over three years low. Softening food prices pulled down inflation to over three year low of 4.89 per cent in April, giving RBI space to further ease interest rates.

The market also improved on speculators covering their pending short positions created in the previous session’s steepest fall in one year, traders added.

With the general firming trend, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 14.95 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 5,995.40.

The MCX-SX flagship index SX40 closed 17.20 points up, or 0.15 per cent, to 11,679.54 points.

Sun Pharma at Rs. 963.65 was the biggest gainer rising 2.03 per cent followed by ONGC by 1.78 per cent at Rs. 326.50 and Bharti Airtel by 1.78 per cent at Rs. 317.20.

In 30-BSE index components, 15 stocks gained while other 15 closed with losses.

State Bank of India stocks spurted by 0.75 per cent to Rs. 2,291.30 and HDFC Ltd by 0.66 per cent to Rs. 868.95 on hopes the easing inflation might provide enough room for the RBI to cut interest rate.

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