Sensex inches 7 pts up in cautious trade

In listless trading, the BSE benchmarkSensex today rose just seven points amid investors adopting a cautious stance after recent gains and a weak rupee.

The Sensex, which had gained 324 points in last three trading sessions, advanced further by 7.42 points to close at 18,762.87. The 30-share gauge moved erratically between 18,794.63 and 18,683.25 as investors awaited quarterly earnings from Sensex constituents including Cipla.

A weak trend in overseas markets also capped any rise. In Sensex, 12 stocks led by pharma majors Cipla (up 0.87 percent and Dr Reddys (up 1.36 per cent) led gains. FMCG stocks led by ITC (1.64 per cent) also closed higher.

Other supporters to the market were stocks of HDFC Bank, BHEL, Coal India, Maruti Suzuki, ONGC, Sterlite and HDFC.

Brokers said the stock market was not able to fully ignore the sharp fall in rupee that dropped 1.44 percent or 77 paise to 54.58 against the US dollar due to heavy dollar demand.

"Generally it is observed that equity markets fall if dollar rises. However, benchmark indices were able to hold their fort against the strong surge in dollar," said Milan Bavishi, Head Research, Inventure Growth & Securities.

Metal and auto stocks came under pressure on selling. Bajaj Auto ended over 2 per cent lower. Besides, two of the most influential stocks -- Reliance Industries declined by 0.35 per cent and Infosys fell by 0.44 per cent.

The NSE index Nifty rose by 6.50 points to close at 5,704.20, after touching the day's low of 5,679.50.

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