Paring initial losses, the BSE benchmark Sensex today gained 51 points to end at 19,742.52 on fag-end buying, mainly in State Bank of India and ITC shares.

The 30-share index recovered from initial losses to end higher by 51.10 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 19,742.52, as investors purchased banking and realty stocks available at attractive levels.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 13.30 points, or 0.22 per cent, to 6,001.70, after touching the day’s low of 5,964.40.

Brokers said investors were selective in their buying and picked up fundamentally strong stocks.

Buying in front-line stocks like SBI and ITC helped overcome the impact of a weak trend in Asian and European markets.

SBI climbed 1.07 per cent to Rs. 2,493.45 after reports of a merchant banker upgrading the stock, while ITC rose for the first time in five days by adding 2.18 per cent to Rs. 285.30. Mortgage lender HDFC Ltd gained 1.95 per cent to Rs 839.65.

Heavyweight stocks RIL lost 0.56 per cent to Rs. 850.35, while Infosys fell by 1.41 per cent to Rs. 2,341.20 ahead of its quarter earnings on January 11.

In the 30-BSE index components, 16 stocks ended with gains while 14 finished lower. The realty and FMCG sector indices were the front runner on investment buying.

Keywords: sensexBSEclosing trade

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