After a volatile trading session, market indices ended a tad higher on Thursday, the expiry day for F&O segment, amid mixed global equities. The December 2020 F&O contracts expire today.
Extending gains for the seventh trading session, Sensex ended 5 points higher at 47,780 and Nifty closed 0.20 points higher at 13,981, after hitting 14,000 for the first time during the session. Sensex hit a lifetime high of 47,896 and Nifty rose to a new high of 14,010 today.
ONGC, Airtel, RIl, Titan, Maruti, ICICI Bank, HDFC and Bajaj Finserve were among the top gainers. On the other hand, TCS, Infosys, M&M, Ultratech Cement, HUL, NTPC and SBI were among the top losers today. Sectorally, gains in realty, pharma, media, metal indices were capped by losses in FMCG, IT and banking sectors.
On the coronavirus front, the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca received an authorisation on Wednesday for emergency use in the UK. Still, the UK government outlined plans on Wednesday to impose stricter coronavirus restrictions on millions of people across England as a new strain of the virus spreads across the country.
Asian markets were trading mixed today as regional markets are set to close early for New Year's eve. 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.
Chinese stocks gained as factory activity expanded in December.
In the US, stocks closed higher on Wednesday, as investors looked towards 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 tomorrow for New Year's holiday.
European markets opened with minor negativity even after UK lawmakers approved Brexit trade deal and investors reacted to fresh covid vaccine news after UK authorized Astra's covid-19 vaccine.
On domestic market closing, Manish Hathiramani, proprietary index trader and technical analyst, Deen Dayal Investments said,"We were successful in claiming the 14000 mark but closed below it. There might be a psychological resistance at this level. However, the trend remains bullish and we should be headed higher to 14100-14150 sooner than later. The current support is at 13500-13600 and since the risk reward is skewed at this juncture, a buy on dips strategy is advised with strict trailing stops.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services said, "Markets reached an all-time high on the final day of a tumultuous 2020 which was filled with deep market corrections and unexpected rebounds. However, the European markets lost steam on the final trading day owing to the pandemic and reports regarding an increased tariff on EU products by the United States. Despite the havoc created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy is expected to recover in 2021 giving a boost to the equity markets in addition to upgrades in corporate earnings."
Ajit Mishra, VP - Research, Religare Broking said,"In a choppy trading session, the Indian markets traded in a tight range amidst stable global cues. The Nifty index ended flat at 13,9882 levels. The broader markets witnessed healthy buying interest as both BSE Midcap and Smallcap ended higher by 0.2% and 0.5%. The investors would await the auto sales numbers and PMI data as it would help in gauging the economic recovery. Further, global cues are likely to dictate the trend for the markets in the near term. We reiterate our cautious stance on the markets."
On the currency front, the rupee rose for the sixth straight session and ended 24 paise higher at 73.07 per dollar supported by positive domestic equities and unabated foreign fund inflows. The domestic unit witnessed an intra-day high of 73.01 and a low of 73.17. It had closed at a two-month high of 73.31 on Wednesday. In the last six trading sessions, the Indian rupee has gained 77 paise.