Benchmark indices ended the week on a negative note hit by losses in index-heavyweights Reliance Industries, HDFC twins and Kotak Bank, after India reported its first case of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The central government on Thursday said two cases of Omicron have been detected in Karnataka. Both the patients are men, aged 66 and 46 years, with mild symptoms. Severe symptoms have not been noted, an official said.
Sensex closed 764.83 points lower at 57,696.46 and Nifty tanked 204.95 points to 17,196.70. PowerGrid was the top Sensex loser, shedding 4.03 per cent, followed by Reliance Industries, Asian Paints, Kotak Bank, Tech Mahindra and Bharti Airtel.
L&T, IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel and UltraTech Cement were the only Sensex gainers, rising up to 0.72%. BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices fell 3 points and rose 94 points, respectively.
However, the market breadth was positive with 1,802 shares ending higher against 1,454 stocks in the red. 141 shares were unchanged.
Market cap of BSE listed firms stood at Rs 261.02 lakh crore.
On the sectoral front, banking, IT, and pharma stocks led the losses today. BSE bankex fell 415 points to 41,192, BSE IT index lost 229 points to 35,050 and BSE healthcare index slipped 200 points to 25,151.
Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities said," Nifty corrected after rising for two days, going against the global trend. Hoever, advance decline ratio remained in the positive. While sell on rallies (especially in largecaps) continues, the broader market seems to have done well. On a weekly basis, Nifty gained 1% after two weeks of losses. On weekly charts, a doji like formation suggests that the recent downmove may not continue and we may see some consolidation/upward bounce for the next few sessions. On upmoves, 17,536-17,613 could act as a resistance while 16722-16,782 could act as a support on a weekly basis."
The Indian market ended lower today after two sessions of gains. On Thursday, Sensex ended 776.50 points or 1.35 per cent higher at 58,461.29 and Nifty surged 234.75 points or 1.37 per cent to 17,401.65. HDFC was the top Sensex gainer climbing 3.92 per cent, followed by PowerGrid, Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, Tech Mahindra and Bajaj Finserv.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 909.71 crore on December 2, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,372 crore, as per provisional data available on NSE.
Meanwhile, rupee slipped 14 paise to close at 75.16 against the US dollar, tracking massive sell-offs in domestic equities amid growing worries over the new COVID variant.
At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened at 74.98 and clocked an intra-day high of 74.95 and a low of 75.18 against the US dollar in a highly volatile trading session. The rupee on Thursday settled at 75.02 against the US dollar.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo ended with gains, while Hong Kong was in the red.
Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a positive note in mid-session deals.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude surged 2.38 per cent to $71.32 per barrel.
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