Market indices closed on a positive note on Friday, the first session of the year amid robust buying in IT, auto and FMCG stocks. Extending gains for the eighth consecutive session, Sensex ended 117 points higher at 47,868 and Nifty closed 36 points higher at 14,018. During today's session, Sensex hit a lifetime high of 47,980 and Nifty rose to a new high of 14,049.
M&M, ONGC, NTPC, ITC, SBI, L&T, Bajaj Finance, Infosys and HDFC were among the top gainers today. Except for banking and financials, all the other sector-based indices closed higher today, with over 3% gains in PSU banking index, followed by 0.80% rise in IT and realty, and 0.60% rise in pharma and media index.
Overseas, Asian markets were shut today on account of New Year. Markets in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong are set to close earlier than usual on Thursday, while markets in Japan and South Korea are closed for a holiday.
In US, Wall Street advanced on Thursday as investors closed the book on a turbulent year of pandemic, recession and recovery. Traders said investors looked toward an improving economic outlook in 2021 on the back of COVID-19 vaccine rollouts and hopes for even more fiscal support. US markets will be closed today for New Year's holiday.
European markets closed with minor fall even after UK lawmakers approved Brexit trade deal and investors reacted to fresh covid vaccine news after the UK authorised AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services said, "With a hope that 2021 will be a year of economic recovery, the market is touching all-time highs on a daily basis. Stocks across sectors cheered with mid & small caps at the forefront. The combined effect of foreign inflows and real earnings growth can keep the market rallying going forward"
S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities said,"Markets ended in the Green on the First Day of the New Year buoyed by record GST collections and we saw a host of stocks buzzing around in the broader market weeks ahead of the Earnings Season. TCS led the rally with the Auto numbers providing the momentum as a number of companies announced price hikes today."
On the currency front, after rising for six straight sessions, the Indian rupee traded in a narrow range and depreciated by 4 paise to close at 73.11 against the US dollar in the first session 2021. Market participants remained on the sidelines due to lack of fresh cues. Forex traders said the momentum for the currency is likely to stay low as no major economic data is expected to release on the domestic as well as on the global front.