Equity benchmark Sensex ended 84 points higher after a volatile session on Thursday as concerns over rising coronavirus infections and resultant restrictions across the country kept investors on the edge. The 30-share BSE index settled 84.45 points or 0.17 per cent higher at 49,746.21. The broader NSE Nifty advanced 54.75 points or 0.37 per cent to 14,873.80.
UltraTech Cement was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying over 4 per cent, followed by Titan, Tech Mahindra, Nestle India, TCS, Bajaj Finserv and L&T. On the other hand, IndusInd Bank, ONGC, Sun Pharma, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank were among the laggards.
Domestic equities, despite trading positively for most of the session, gave up a large portion of gains towards the end of the day as concerns of rising COVID-19 cases continued to weigh on investor sentiment, said Binod Modi, Head-Strategy at Reliance Securities. Financials witnessed profit-booking and dragged the market. Barring financials, most of key sectoral indices traded in the green with metal index remaining an outperformer.
“Expectations of steady 4QFY21 earnings and weakening INR continued to attract investors’ interest towards IT stocks,” he noted. While softening of bond yields and crude prices in recent period offered some comfort to markets, a sharp depreciation in rupee in the last couple of trading days could be a new worry for investors, which can also have an impact on FPI flows, he added.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul ended on a positive note, while Tokyo was in the red. Stock exchanges in Europe were largely trading with gains in mid-session deals.
Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.44 per cent lower at USD 62.88 per barrel.