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Sensex Edges Higher On Value-Buying; Blue Chips Rise

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The BSE Sensex edged higher on Monday (05 May), recovering from a five-session losing streak as market heavyweights such as Reliance Industries recouped, although sentiment remained broadly weak ahead of the conclusion of elections later this month.

Global risk factors are also weighing on sentiment, with regional shares faltering on Monday after HSBC's final reading of China's April PMI contracted for a fourth consecutive month.

Although overseas investors have remained buyers of cash shares, they have turned sellers in index futures, totalling 2.43 billion rupees ($40.4 million) over the five previous sessions until Friday (02 May).

Analysts broadly expect shares to remain pressured, and off the record highs hit late last month, ahead of the outcome of elections on May 16.

"Nifty is struggling near 6,700 level for the last four trading sessions. With mixed cues directing the market, there is an indecision seen at higher levels," said Rakesh Goyal, senior vice president, Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.

"After a strong one-sided rally witnessed in the last few weeks, we expect some consolidation. Nifty is likely to trade within 6,500-6,850 in coming sessions," he said adding that volatility could increase ahead of the election results.

The Sensex closed 0.18 per cent higher at 22,445.12, while the Nifty closed 0.07 per cent up at 6,699.35.

Blue chips recovered on Monday after the Nifty had fallen 1.3 per cent last week, the worst weekly performance since the trading week ended on January 31.

Reliance Industries gained 2.02 per cent after the energy conglomerate fell 4.21 per cent in the five sessions until Friday. Cigarette maker ITC advanced 1.31 per cent after falling 3.7 per cent during the five previous sessions.

Metal stocks advanced after a spike in copper prices, traders said. Hindalco Industries, which fell 8.6 per cent in the five sessions until Friday, gained 5.5 per cent while Tata Steel, which lost 8.4 per cent in the same period, gained 1.9 per cent.

Shares in Alstom T&D India ended 0.42 per cent lower after General Electric Co on Monday offered to buy 25 per cent in the Indian unit of Alstom SA's valued at up to $278 million.

However, the other unit of Alstom, Alstom India Ltd, gained 1.47 per cent. Although GE also made an offer to the company, traders cited differing valuations.

GE will proceed with the offers for the Indian companies only if its bid for Alstom's energy arm goes through, the filings said.

Canara Bank Ltd gained 6.6 per cent after the state-run lender's net non-performing loans fell to 1.98 per cent during the January-March quarter from 2.39 per cent in the previous quarter.

Among other laggards, Reliance Communications Ltd fell 3.97 per cent after its consolidated net profit dropped more than expected in the January-March quarter.

Bharti Airtel fell 1.63 per cent, declining for the fifth straight session after its earnings out on April 29 disappointed some investors.