Bucking a weak global trend, the Sensex on Tuesday closed 41 points on the back of strong performance by Hindustan Unilever which rose 7.5 per cent on better-than-expected earnings.

After losing over 300 points in last two days, the Sensex on Tuesday opened marginally higher and stayed in the positive zone after reports said China’s manufacturing output in July grew at its fastest pace in nine months.

The BSE benchmark index touched the day’s high of 16,962.74 after shares of Hindustan Unilever surged to a 52-week high after its April-June quarter profits doubled.

In volatile trade, the 30-share index closed at 16,918.08, up 40.73 points or 0.24 per cent with 14 constituents, including Sterlite, Maruti, Bharti and ONGC, ending with gains. RIL and ITC also gained.

However, 15 stocks led by Wipro that slumped nearly 3 per cent after tepid earnings, L&T, Sun Pharma and Bhel ended lower. Tata Motors was unchanged.

The 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty gained 10.25 points, or 0.20 per cent to end at 5,128.20.

Brokers said there was some profit-booking in the latter half of the day due to the weakening global trend on Moody’s downgrading Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Reports also said Germany’s private sector shrank in July, the fastest rate in over three years.

Meanwhile, the rupee was trading above 56 levels compared to its previous close of 55.97.

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