Stock markets started the New Year on a positive note with benchmark index Sensex gaining 52.28 points or 0.13 per cent to close at 41,306.02 on Wednesday as financials, IT, FMCG and power stocks advanced. The broader NSE Nifty closed 14.05 points, or 0.12 per cent, higher at 12,182.50 with 23 of its constituents ending in the green. "Indian markets started the New year on a positive note without much cues on global front as markets remained closed. Sentiments remained positive on report that India's current account deficit (CAD) narrowed to 0.9% of GDP, or USD 6.3 billion, in the September 2019 quarter, on account of lower trade deficit," said Narendra Solanki, Head Fundamental Research (Investment Services) - AVP Equity Research, Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers.
PowerGrid was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, spurting 2.76 per cent, followed by NTPC, M&M, L&T, Hindustan Unilever, HDFC, and Infosys.
On the other hand, Titan fell the most by 2.76 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank (1.72 per cent), and Bajaj Auto (1.21 per cent).
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday unveiled Rs 102 lakh crore of infrastructure projects of which around one-fourth would be related to the energy sector. Other sectors in which the projects have been identified are railways, urban irrigation, mobility, education and health.
Analysts said the infrastructure spending can be a trigger for boosting the sagging growth.
On sectoral front, BSE Power rose the most by 1.78 per cent, followed by BSE Utilities by 1.41 per cent. BSE IT index and FMCG rose up to 0.6 per cent. Auto, Metals, and Consumer Durables indices remained weak with losses of up to 1.40 per cent.
In the broader market, BSE midcap and smallcap indices outperformed benchmarks, rallying up to 0.64 per cent.
"Market traded positive in the first leg of trade based on government’s plan for major investment in infrastructure expenditure. But given concerns over fiscal prudence and plans to use funds from centre, state and private limited the gains due to lack of liquidity," Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services commented.
In the near-term, auto stocks will be in focus based on monthly sales data which is likely to paint another dismal picture due to muted demand, he added.
Market breadth was positive as 1,363 scrips of 2,621 stocks traded gained while 1,068 scrips declined. Total market turnover was Rs 1,191.44 crore of BSE.