Rising for the third straight day, the Sensex on Wednesday inched up by 46 points to close at 18,869.69 on buying in oil&gas, PSU and healthcare stocks amid a weak global trend.

After opening at 18,841.49, the 30-share Sensex moved in a narrow 90-point range as trading remained largely lacklustre.

It touched a high of 18,905.62, a new 52-week high, and a low of 18,816.57, before ending at 18,869.69 - 45.78 points up over previous closing. With this, the Sensex has gained nearly 300 points in last three days.

The 50-share NSE Nifty closed 12.56 points higher at 5,731.25 after making a high of 5,743.25. “Choppiness was the order of the day. Markets were able to stay in the positive territory for almost entire day,” said Milan Bavishi, Head Research, Inventure Growth & Securities.

The Sensex rose as RIL, Hindustan Unilever (HUL), TCS, HDFC and ONGC gained. However, losses in ITC, Infosys and Jindal Steel capped the rise.

Brokers said IT stocks saw good demand with rupee touching over 5-month high levels of 52.28 against the US dollar.

HUL was the best performer of the day rising 2.37 per cent, followed by Dr Reddy (2.21 per cent) and Coal India (1.98 per cent).

On the other hand, Jindal Steel was the biggest loser as it dropped 4.58 per cent. It was followed by Bajaj Auto and Hero MotoCorp shares which lost 1.6 per cent each on reports of weak September sales.

Among sectors, BSE Oil & Gas index gained 1 per cent, followed by BSE PSU (0.63 per cent), BSE Healthcare (0.55 per cent) and BSE Metal (0.46 per cent). BSE Auto was the worst performer on Wednesday as it lost 0.36 per cent.

“Final take on GAAR is expected to be announced by last week of this month. Also, September quarter results likely to start soon shall impact near-to-medium term trend,” said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.

A weak trend in the Asian region and lower opening in Europe continued to shadow the trading sentiment.

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