The 30-share Sensitive Index of BSE and 50-scrip Nifty of NSE, after a positive start, turned negative on PMI data and weak external cues. Overnight Wall Street traded weak roiling sentiment in other markets including the Asia Pacific. But analysts say Sensex and Nifty lost early upside start mainly on domestic cues and recovered in late trade on account of rise in bank stocks.

A breezy spell of short-covering took main indices back into green zone. Bank shares were again in focus. Axis Bank share increased despite RBI’s late Monday night announcement that barred the private lender from bullion (gold and silver) imports.

Axis Bank and ICICI Bank stocks staged a smart comeback on Tuesday on short-covering and buying on dips by investors. This led to revival of benchmarks of BSE and NSE that were reeling under selling pressure due to profit booking in afternoon trade.

Sensex closed for the day 0.35 per cent high at 33,370.63 (+115.27) points. Nifty at 10,245.00 (+33.20) points increased 0.33 per cent. Nifty Bank and Nifty PSU Bank were mainly responsible for late recovery as they ended at 24,510.60 (+182.18) points and 2,901.45 (+47.05) points up 0.75 per cent and 1.65 per cent respectively. The domestic indices displayed resilience as they bucked the trend in other exchanges including European markets.

Analysts say if the January-March numbers by corporate India and financials live up to the estimates and continue to be on course in FY 2018-19, the main indices could see a sharp upside and will surpass earlier highs posted by Sensex and Nifty on 29 January when BSE index had surged to 36,443.98 points and 11,171.55 points. Since then, however, the top indices have corrected almost 10 per cent and analysts see bull rally returning to Dalal Street.

Yesterday, foreign portfolio investors were net buyers of Rs 689.75 crore in equity while domestic funds backed the first rally of FY2018-19 by buying Rs 413.16 crore worth shares. In Sensex 19 shares closed up and 12 down on Tuesday.

For Nifty the ratio was 30:20. Gainers in BSE benchmark included M&M at Rs 770.90, up 3.42 per cent; ICICI Bank Rs 270, up 3.09 per cent; Yes Bank Rs 312.50, up 2.05 per cent; SBI Rs 250.55, up 1.73 per cent and Axis Bank Rs 502.50, up 0.86 per cent.