The two key equity benchmarks, Sensex and Nifty, on Monday closed higher for a second straight day as investors put more funds into IT and metal stocks. After paring early losses amid volatility, the two domestic indices were trading in the positive territory throughout the session.

The S&P BSE Sensex closed 234 points higher at 61,964 level. On the other hand, the NSE Nifty settled at 18,314, up 111 points.

On the 30-share Sensex platform, TechM, Wipro, TCS, HCL, Infosys, L&T were among the lead gainers. On the contrary, Nestle, Axis Bank, Airtel, Tata Motors, ICICI Bank, HDFC twins emerged losers.

In the broader markets, the BSE Midcap index added 0.7 per cent and Smallcap index up 0.4 per cent.

Sectorwise, the Nifty Metal climbed over 3 per cent, followed by the Nifty IT index (up 2 per cent), while capital goods, oil & gas and healthcare indices were up 1 per cent each. On the downside, the Nifty Bank index slipped 0.2 per cent.

In the previous session on Friday, the S&P BSE Sensex ended 298 points higher at 61,730, while the NSE Nifty 50 settled at 18,203, up 73 points.

“The domestic market inched higher in anticipation of possible progress in US debt ceiling negotiations. Despite a weak fourth-quarter performance, IT stocks rebounded on account of bargain opportunities and pent-up demand. Investors remain watchful ahead of the release of US FOMC minutes on Wednesday, as the minutes may give some indication of a pause on rate hikes,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

In Asian markets, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong ended in the positive territory. Markets in Europe were trading on a mixed note. The US market had ended marginally lower on Friday.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.03 per cent to $75.60 per barrel.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) offloaded equities worth Rs 113.46 crore on Friday after remaining buyers for a number of days, according to exchange data.

Meanwhile, the rupee fell 18 paise to close at 82.85 (provisional) against the US dollar on Monday, weighed down by a strong greenback in the overseas market. However, a firm trend in domestic equities and sliding crude prices in international markets restricted the rupee’s loss, forex traders said.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the domestic unit opened at 82.80 against the dollar, and finally settled at 82.85 (provisional), down 18 paise from its previous close. During the day, the rupee touched a high of 82.70 and a low of 82.85 against the greenback. On Friday, the rupee had settled at 82.67 against the dollar.

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