BENGALURU, Nov 16 (Reuters) - India's benchmark Sensex eked out meagre gains to notch a fresh closing high on Wednesday, helped by gains in bank and IT stocks and as nerves eased after U.S. President Joe Biden said the blast in Poland was caused by a Ukrainian defence missile, dispelling fears that it originated from Russia.
The S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.17% to 61980.72, closing at an all-time high for the second straight session. The NSE Nifty 50 index was virtually unchanged, edging up 0.03% to 18,409.65.
The broader market eked out gains even though only about 1,437 stocks rose, while 2,076 fell and 126 were unchanged.
The Nifty 50 and Sensex had opened lower, in tandem with Asian peers overnight when news of the explosion, which killed two people, broke. However, the MSCI All-World index was also virtually unchanged on the day.
"The (Indian) market is absorbing negative news and reacting very, very strongly to any positive cues. That is really showing the strength of the equity markets even at current levels," said Gaurav Dua, head of capital market strategy at Sharekhan.
"India is in a much better spot both in terms of the fiscal health of the Government of India and recent growth prospects of the economy."
Last week, data indicated India's inflation was starting to slow down, while earlier in the day, Reuters reported India would exceed budget estimates for direct tax collection by 25%-30% in fiscal 2023.
The Nifty bank and IT indexes gained at least 0.29% each, countering declines in the metal and realty sectors.
Adani Enterprises reversed course late during the session to close around 2.5% lower.
Hindustan Aeronautics climbed over 6% as the Indian Coast Guard signed a letter of intent for nine more helicopters.
Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam and Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil, Savio D'Souza and Eileen Soreng