Equity indices close flat on rising Covid cases, NPAs concerns (Roundup)

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Rising Covid cases as well as derivatives expiry and expected rise in NPAs subdued the key indices — S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 — of the Indian equity market on Thursday.

Accordingly, both the indices closed on a flat to negative note. The two key indices opened nominally higher but sold off in the first few minutes of trade but again clawed back.

Globally, Asian stock markets were mixed on Thursday after Wall Street hit a high and new daily US coronavirus cases surged to a record.

On the other hand, European shares inched higher on hopes that fresh coronavirus-related curbs and restrictions may not be needed going into the New Year.

In terms of the domestic market, IT, Healthcare and Consumer Durables indices rose the most whereas realty, oil and gas and metal indices fell the most. Consequently, the S&P BSE Sensex closed at 57,794.32points, down by only 12.17 points or 0.021 per cent from its previous close.

Similarly, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell to 17,203.95 points, inched lower by 9.65 points or 0.056 per cent from its previous close.

“Nifty seems to have run into a resistance over the last two days after the recent run up. Advance decline ratio ended marginally in the negative,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.”Nifty continues to remain in the 17286-17112 band with a mildly upward bias.”

According to Siddhartha Khemka, Head of Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services: “Global markets were mixed as uncertainty loomed over coronavirus-related curbs and restrictions amid rising number of cases which capped the gains.”

“With coronavirus cases at record highs, some countries are trying to limit the economic damage by setting restriction on travel rather maintaining complete lockdown.”

In addition, Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services said: “Domestic bourses witnessed a choppy session lifted by gains in IT and healthcare stocks on the day of the monthly F&O expiry. Globally, markets were mixed as investors are weighing the consequences of a third wave amid surging inflation worldwide.”

“Banking stocks, especially PSUs, were under pressure as RBI’s financial stability report suggested a surge in bad loans with NPA’s rising from 6.9 per cent in September 2021 to 8.1 per cent in September 2022 under the base case scenario.”

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