The equity barometers turned range bound in early afternoon trade. The Nifty reclaimed 13,900 mark. Investor sentiment was upbeat after President Trump signed a $2.3 trillion pandemic aid while the U.K. and the E.U. struck a Brexit trade deal last week.
At 12:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rallied 162.27 points or 0.34% at 47,516.02. The Nifty 50 index advanced 33.70 points or 0.24% at 13,906.90.
The Sensex hit a fresh record high of 47,714.55 while the Nifty scaled an all-time high of 13,967.60 in morning trade.
In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index fell 0.11% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index lost 0.05%.
The market breadth was negative. On the BSE, 1,230 shares rose and 1,457 shares fell. A total of 168 shares were unchanged.
Top index contributors: HDFC (up 1.65%), HDFC Bank (up 0.80%), Kotak Mahindra Bank (up 1.25%), Axis Bank (up 1.37%) and IndusInd Bank (up 3.30%).
Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 8,12,78,115 with 17,74,390 deaths. India reported 2,68,581 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 1,48,153 deaths while 98,07,569 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
Meanwhile, India recorded 6 cases of a mutant strain of COVID-19, which is 70% more transmissible. It was first reported in the United Kingdom a few days ago.
All six patients recently returned from Britain. As per a government statement, three samples in NIMHANS of Bengaluru, two in CCMB, Hyderabad and one in NIV, Pune have been detected out of all the samples tested.
The NSE's India VIX, a gauge of market's expectation of volatility over the near term, rose 2.21% to 20.88. The Nifty December 2020 futures were trading at 13,917.35, at a premium of 12.45 points compared with the spot at 13,904.90.
The Nifty option chain for 31 December 2020 expiry showed maximum Call OI of 62.99 lakh contracts at the 14,000 strike price. Maximum Put OI of 58.01 lakh contracts was seen at 13,000 strike price.
The Nifty Media index declined 1.17% to 1,635.05. Dish TV India (down 4.68%), Hathway Cable & Datacom (down 1.80%), D B Corp (down 1.38%), Sun TV Network (down 1.31%) and Zee Entertainment Enterprises (down 1.09%) declined.
Stocks in Spotlight:
Great Eastern Shipping Company (G E Shipping) fell 0.17%. The company delivered its 2000-built Suezmax Crude Carrier "Jag Lateef" to the buyers, contracted for sale in November 2020. G E Shipping's current fleet stands at 46 vessels, comprising 33 tankers (10 crude carriers, 18 product tankers, 5 LPG carrier) and 13 dry bulk carriers with an average age of 12.24 years aggregating 3.66 million deadweight tonnage (mn dwt).
Titan Company slipped 0.72%. The company's board approved corporate guarantees worth Rs 906 crore to various banks on behalf of wholly-owned subsidiary, Titan Commodity Trading. The corporate guarantees are provided by the company to guarantee funding limits to be availed by Titan Commodity up to Rs 906 crore from various banks. These guarantees are against overall limits being availed by Titan Commodity primarily required for issuing bank guarantees to Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) against margin and for meeting other working capital requirements. The guarantees will create contingent liability on the listed entity.