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Sensex, Nifty close at record highs on COVID-19 vaccine hopes

Tata Steel, followed by SBI, HDFC Bank, Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank, LT, Maruti, IndusInd Bank, and HDFC were among the top gainers today. On the other hand, NTPC, HCL Tech, ONGC, Infosys, ITC, PowerGrid, and Hindustan Unilever were among the top losers on the Sensex

Among sectoral indices, banking, financial and realty indices closed almost 2% higher today, followed by an almost 1% gain in auto stocks. FMCG, IT, media, and pharma indices closed in the red Among sectoral indices, banking, financial and realty indices closed almost 2% higher today, followed by an almost 1% gain in auto stocks. FMCG, IT, media, and pharma indices closed in the red

Benchmark indices closed at fresh all-time highs on Tuesday, amid positive global equities, as renewed hopes of COVID-19 vaccine kept investors optimistic. Sensex closed 314 points higher at 43,952, while Nifty gained by 93 points to end at 12,874 today.

Tata Steel, followed by SBI, HDFC Bank, Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank, LT, Maruti, IndusInd Bank, and HDFC were among the top gainers today. On the other hand, NTPC, HCL Tech, ONGC, Infosys, ITC, PowerGrid, and Hindustan Unilever were among the top losers on the Sensex.

Among sectoral indices, banking, financial and realty indices closed almost 2% higher today, followed by an almost 1% gain in auto stocks. FMCG, IT, media, and pharma indices closed in the red.

Asian markets were trading higher today. US markets closed higher on Monday on news of another coronavirus vaccine, which supported hopes of a quicker economic recovery.

Investor sentiment rose after Moderna Inc said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing infection based on interim late-state data. The firm became the second drugmaker, after Pfizer Inc, to announce promising trial data in the development of a vaccine to defeat the pandemic.

European markets traded lower amid surging coronavirus infections. Many countries in Europe and states in the US are tightening COVID-19 restrictions to curb the spread of the pandemic.

Worldwide, there were 554 lakh confirmed cases and 13.34 lakh deaths from the COVID-19 outbreak. In India, coronavirus cases crossed the 88-lakh mark with total deaths standing at 1.30 lakh.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services said, "The market hit the all-time high, factoring yesterday's trading holiday, led by banking stocks and investors rejoicing about the news of another vaccine to end the pandemic. This week, global markets started well, however, today, it experienced mixed sentiments owing to an increase in virus cases and tighter restrictions in the western world. Optimism over the development of vaccines is still outweighing concerns over the next wave of Covid. We recommend investors to start considering partial profit booking, on a short-term basis, due to high gaps developing between the actual performance of the economy and the market"

On markets closing --Manish Hathiramani, proprietary index trader and technical analyst, Deen Dayal Investments said, "The Nifty took a bit of a breather post-opening but clawed its way back to almost the high of the day. It is really a matter of time before we see the 13000 levels on the index. While strong support lies at 12550-12600, the overall trend is bullish and the momentum is fierce. A buy on dips approach would be the best way to enter into long positions."

On the currency front, the rupee settled appreciated by 16 paise to settle at 74.46 per American currency, amid weakness in the dollar and as positive news on coronavirus vaccine boosted appeal for riskier assets.