BSE benchmark Sensex ekes out marginal gains, closes at a new 6-week high.

The BSE benchmark Sensex on Friday gained for the third straight day by adding over 21 points to end at a new 6-week high, on heavy buying in software exporters, led by TCS following robust earnings.

Sharp losses in BHEL, HDFC and ICICI Bank weighed on the 30-share bluechip index but good gains in IT and auto stocks like Bajaj Auto helped Sensex end in positive terrain. RIL closed 0.7 per cent higher ahead of Q1 earnings.

The Sensex, which had gained 277 points in past two sessions, advanced further by 21.44 points, or 0.11 per cent to 20,149.85. Trading commenced on a promising note as the index touched a 2-month high of 20,256.60, though fag-end profit booking wiped off some initial gains.

Brokers said market sentiment bolstered after Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Asia’s largest software exporter by market value, gained 5.3 per cent, higher than leading peers like Infosys.

TCS’ total revenue, under IFRS accounting standards, rose 21 per cent to Rs 17,987 crore from Rs 14,869 crore a year ago. TCS surged to a record of Rs 1,755 before ending at Rs 1,740.10, posting a gain of 4.92 per cent.

However, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty surrendered all gains to end lower by 8.85 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 6,029.20, after climbing to 6,066.85. SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX—SX, inched up by 2.54 points.

Within the Sensex, 16 stocks closed with gains while 14 ended lower. Among major gainers were Bharti Airtel, Coal India, Dr Reddy’s, Hero MotoCorp and ONGC.

Bhel slumped 8 per cent on concerns over order cancellations and sluggish pace in new order wins. HDFC reported 34 per cent rise in profit in June quarter but its stock slipped 2.35 per cent as it missed estimates, said brokers.

“For the next week, we believe traders need to remain extremely cautious. It is the derivative expiry next week,” said Nagji K Rita, CMD, Inventure Growth & Securities.

Sectorally, IT sector index gained the most on Friday by rising 2.81 per cent, followed by Tech index (2.20 p.c), Auto index (1.66 p.c) and Oil and Gas index (0.67 p.c).

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