Mumbai: Short-coverings on account of derivatives expiry, coupled with minor value buying at lower levels, buoyed Indian equity markets on Thursday.

This led to a barometer index of the Indian equity markets provisionally closing 158 points up at the end of the day’s trade.

Initially, both the bellwether indices of the Indian equity markets opened on a mildly positive note due to value buying after Wednesday’s fall.

However, markets ceded their gains, as lack of investors’ participation coupled with unwinding of long positions, as also uncertainties over upcoming macro-data depressed sentiments and prompted some investors to book profits at higher levels.

Data with the stock exchanges showed that the volumes in cash markets across key bellwether indices eased to Rs 15,000 crore on Wednesday.

Besides, investors were seen cautious regarding the upcoming macro data of monthly eight core industries (ECI) output, purchasing managers index (PMIs) and the third-quarter earnings season which starts from January 14.

Nevertheless, expectations that Nifty would breach the 8,000-level mark and short-covering on account of futures and options (F&O) expiry pushed up prices.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) closed higher by 158 points, or 0.61 percent.

Similarly, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) ended the day’s trade in the positive territory. It closed higher by 48 points, or 0.60 percent, at 7,943.90 points.

The Sensex of the S&P BSE, which opened at 25,980.86 points, provisionally closed at 26,117.54 points (at 3.30 p.m.) — up 157.51 points or 0.61 percent from the previous day’s close at 25,960.03 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 26,147.63 points and a low of 25,941.91 points in intra-day trade.

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