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Ahead of the release of the US Federal Reserve’s November policy meeting minutes later in the night, investors avoided making large bets on Wednesday. Benchmark equity indices closed marginally higher as its opening gains in banking, metals and oil and gas stocks were offset by declines in index heavyweights , and IT stocks.

The 30-share Sensex ended 92 points higher at 61,510 while its broader peer Nifty 50 ended above the 18,250 level.

In the Sensex pack,

, Dr Reddy’s, SBI, Maruti, , and NTPC were the top gainers in Wednesday’s trading session, rising about 0.5-1.5%. , HDFC, , M&M, and also closed higher.

On the other hand,

, , Titan, Bharti Airtel, , and HUL closed lower.

Sectorally, the Nifty Media rose 1.14% and Nifty PSU Bank surged 1.02%. Nifty Financial Services and Nifty Healthcare Index also closed higher. In the broader market, Nifty Midcap50 advanced 0.52% and Smallcap50 increased 0.70%.

“Following the global trend, domestic indices continued to cautiously build gains as investors braced for the FOMC meeting minutes. The declining dollar index and falling bond yield provided short-term relief, while the FIIs’ unpredictability kept investors at bay. Although the Eurozone PMI showed that the economy was still contracting, the rate of contraction had slowed,” Vinod Nair, Head of Research at

, said.

“Markets witnessed range-bound activity today with profit-taking paring gains in late afternoon trade. PSU Banks, however, continued their stellar run for the third consecutive day this week. In the broader markets, Railway Stocks were sought after yet again with many of them holding on to their handsome gains in the last two months,” S Ranganathan, Head of Research at , said.

Earlier in Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225, China’s Shanghai Composite and South Korea’s Kospi surged 0.61%, 0.26% and 0.53%, respectively.

The rupee declined slightly against the dollar on Wednesday. It ended at 81.84 per dollar, compared with Tuesday’s close of 81.66. While the Brent crude January futures rose 0.10% to $88.45 per barrel.

The market breadth was skewed in favour of bulls. About 1,854 stocks gained, 1,643 declined and 130 remained unchanged.

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