Benchmark indices managed to close higher for the third straight session today. However, a record rise in coronavirus cases pushed Sensex and Nifty into the red on a weekly basis.
India added a record 2,17,353 new coronavirus infections in a day, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,42,91,917, while active cases surpassed the 15-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data on Friday. This is the second consecutive day that the country has reported over two lakh cases.
During the week, Sensex sank 759.29 points or 1.53 per cent, while Nifty crashed 217 points or 1.46 per cent.
Sensex closed 28.35 points higher at 48,832 and Nifty rose 36.40 points to 14,617 in choppy trade today.
Top Sensex gainers were Asian Paints rising 3.07 per cent, followed by UltraTech Cement, ONGC, M&M, Sun Pharma, HCL Tech, Tech Mahindra and Nestle India.
ICICI Bank, L&T, Bajaj Finance, TCS, SBI, Infosys and Reliance Industries were the top Sensex losers, declining up to 1.55 per cent.
On Thursday, benchmark indices managed to close higher in a highly volatile session led by gains in banking and metal stocks. After moving 877 points during the session, Sensex ended 259 points higher at 48,803 and Nifty rose 76.65 points to 14,581.45.
Of 30 Sensex stocks, 19 ended in the green today. Market cap of BSE-listed firms swelled by Rs 1.76 lakh crore to Rs 205.71 lakh crore in today's session against Rs 203.95 lakh crore on April 15.
Market breadth was positive with 1,663 stocks ending higher against 1,239 falling on BSE. 158 stocks were unchanged in trade today.
BSE midcap and small cap indices zoomed 233 points and 218 points, respectively in trade today.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services said, "Strong positive cues from the global market lent optimism to the Indian market leading to robust recovery though volatility & underperformance were noticed at the end of the day due to concerns over lockdown. US treasury yield saw a sharp drop yesterday on reports of better than expected retail sales and a fall in unemployment. It triggered a rally in the US which was also reflected in European and Asian markets. As soon as India is able to show a drop in infection rate, due to lockdown & vaccination, market performance will improve."
S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities said, "Despite US markets hitting new highs, indices here remained in a range today as FII figures for the first half of the month were not very encouraging but we did see plenty of action in the broader market with pharma & metals witnessing investor appetite. Despite a normal monsoon forecast today by the met dept, investors remained circumspect on account of rising coronavirus cases."
Meanwhile, rupee strengthened by 58 paise to close at 74.35 against the US dollar today, supported by positive domestic equities amid improving risk appetite.
The currency opened at 74.76 against the dollar and witnessed an intra-day high of 74.28 and a low of 74.76. On Thursday, the rupee settled at 74.93 against the American currency.
Foreign institutional investors purchased shares worth Rs 979.70 crore on Thursday, according to exchange data.
US benchmarks Dow Jones and S&P 500 soared to record highs in the overnight session, buoyed by sliding bond yields and positive macroeconomic data.
Asian markets rallied after China posted a record 18.3 per cent GDP growth in the first quarter of 2021, aided by a low base effect as well as strong domestic and foreign demand. Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading with gains in mid-session deals.