Mumbai: Exit polls out of the way, the market on Friday decided to buy time and wait for the final judgement on Saturday with the Sensex staying decidedly cautious by consolidating its gains.
Though there is no clear theme, the findings indicate an edge for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the politically-sensitive Uttar Pradesh. Counting of votes for five states will be taken up on Saturday.
On the macro front, the index of industrial production (IIP) for January is scheduled for release after market hours today. Chances of higher US borrowing costs kept investors on their toes. The 30-share Sensex settled higher by 17.10 points, or 0.06%, at 28,946.23. It had gained 27.19 points in the previous session.
The broad-based Nifty ended up 7.55 points, or 0.08%, at 8,934.55. On a weekly basis, the Sensex gained 113.78 points, or 0.39%, and the Nifty 37 points, or 0.41%.
Sentiment remained bullish at the outset after exit polls last evening showed the BJP emerging as the single largest party in Uttar Pradesh as well as Goa and likely to form government in Uttarakhand, lifting the key indices.
“Market’s behaviour suggests that investors preferred to wait for the final results for UP and other four state Assemblies,” said Manoj Choraria, a Delhi-based NSE stock broker.
Among the 30-Sensex constituents, Bharti Airtel topped the gainers list by surging 1.22%, followed by Hero MotoCorp 1.16%. Other major gainers were L&T, TCS, ONGC, Infosys and Wipro.
The market sentiment also got a boost after foreign funds purchased shares worth a net Rs487.61 crore on Thursday, as per provisional data.
Japanese shares led the rally in Asian markets as the dollar surged against the yen ahead of key US jobs data and a Federal Reserve meeting next week that is widely expected to go for an interest rate hike. European stocks nudged higher in their early trade.
Among the BSE sectoral indices, technology remained in the lead. Capital goods, IT, auto and consumer durables went up while metal, power and oil & gas declined.
However, the broader markets came under pressure, with the mid-cap and small-cap indices registering a decline.