Late buying demand in index pivotals helped domestic stocks log modest gains on first trading day of calendar 2019. Volatility was high as the Sensex settled above the psychological 36,000 level after moving above and below that level in intraday trade. The Nifty closed above 10,900 mark.

Trading for calendar 2019 began on a volatile note as the key benchmark indices reversed early gains to sink in negative zone. Stocks extended fall to hit intraday low in mid-afternoon trade. Reversing intraday losses, indices staged a strong pullback in late trade to hit intraday high.

The Sensex rose 186.24 points or 0.52% to settle at 36,254.57, its highest closing level since 20 December 2018. The index rose 215.71 points, or 0.60% at the day's high of 36,284.04. The index fell 179.71 points, or 0.50% at the day's low of 35,888.62.

The Nifty 50 index rose 47.55 points or 0.44% to settle at 10,910.10, its highest closing level since 20 December 2018. The index rose 61.05 points, or 0.56% at the day's high of 10,923.60. The index fell 55.45 points, or 0.51% at the day's low of 10,807.10.

The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index fell 0.08%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index rose 0.41%.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On the BSE, 1445 shares rose and 1105 shares fell. A total of 151 shares were unchanged.

Among the sectoral indices on BSE, the S&P BSE Realty index (up 2.21%), the S&P BSE Telecom index (up 1.46%) and the S&P BSE Finance index (up 0.90%), outperformed the Sensex. The S&P BSE Metal index (down 0.74%), the S&P BSE Auto index (down 0.52%) and the S&P BSE Basic Materials index (down 0.30%), underperformed the Sensex.

Bharti Airtel (up 2.76%), Yes Bank (up 1.38%), HDFC Bank (up 1.30%), State Bank of India (up 1.25%), Axis Bank (up 1.24%) and ICICI Bank (up 1.01%), were the major Sensex gainers.

Tata Steel (down 1.21%), ONGC (down 0.83%), Hindustan Unilever (down 0.82%), Wipro (down 0.68%), IndusInd Bank (down 0.29%) and Kotak Mahindra Bank (down 0.27%), were the major Sensex losers.

HDFC advanced 2.01%. HDFC has increased its retail prime lending rate (RPLR), on which its adjustable rate home loans (ARHL) are benchmarked, by 10 basis points, with effect from 1 January 2019. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 31 December 2018.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) lost 3.75%. M&M announced its auto sales performance for December 2018 which stood at 39,755 vehicles, compared to 39,200 vehicles during December 2017. M&M's Farm Equipment Sector (FES) announced its tractor sales numbers for December 2018. Domestic sales were at 16,510 units in December 2018, as against 16,855 units during December 2017. Total tractor sales (domestic + exports) were at 17,404 units during December 2018, as against 18,488 units for the same period last year. Exports for the month stood at 894 units. The announcement was made during market hours today, 1 January 2019.

Maruti Suzuki India rose 0.21%. The company said that its total sales fell 1.3% to 1.28 lakh units in December 2018 over December 2017. Maruti Suzuki India said total domestic sales rose 1.8% to 1.21 lakh units, while total exports declined 36.4% to 6,859 units in December 2018 over December 2017. The announcement was made during trading hours today, 1 January 2019.

UCO Bank jumped 12.10%. UCO Bank announced that the Government of India conveyed its decision to invest Rs 3076 crore in the equity of the bank by way of preferential allotment. The bank said it received the amount on 31 December 2018. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 31 December 2018.

On the macro front, the index of eight core industries comprising 40.27% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) has posted 3.5% growth in November 2018 over November 2017. Its cumulative growth during April to November 2018-19 stood at 5.1%.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged higher against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 69.6725, compared with its close of 69.77 during the previous trading session.

In the global commodities markets, Brent for March 2019 settlement was up $1.23 at $54.44 a barrel. The contract had up 59 cents, or 1.11% to settle at $53.80 a barrel during the previous trading session.

Overseas, markets across Japan, China, Hong Kong, UK, US, France, South Korea, Singapore, Germany and Brazil, among others, are closed on account of New Year holiday. Cautious optimism over US-China trade talks helped the US stocks to end higher in the final trading session of the year on Monday in thin pre-holiday trading.

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