The equity benchmarks came off day's high in late trade and ended with modest gains on Thursday. Gains in financial stocks offset losses in IT, FMCG and auto shares.
As per provisional closing data, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, added 223.88 points or 0.48% to 46,890.34. The Nifty 50 index advanced 58 points or 0.42% to 13,740.70.
The S&P BSE Sensex hit a record high of 46,992.57 while the Nifty hit a record high of 13,773.25 in afternoon trade.
Investors reacted positively to comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve that it will continue to support the economy. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell also said on Wednesday that stock prices are not necessarily highly priced given how low interest rates are. Meanwhile, negotiators in Washington are shaping a new $900 billion coronavirus stimulus bill that is said to include a second stimulus check.
The US Dollar Index slipped below 90 for the first time since April 2018, following the comments from the US Federal Reserve.
After trading in the green for most part of the session, the broader market reversed trend and ended lower. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index shed 0.13% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index lost 0.23%.
The market breadth favoured sellers. On the BSE, 1387 shares rose and 1585 shares fell. A total of 175 shares were unchanged.
Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 7,42,26,214 with 16,49,032 deaths. India reported 3,22,366 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 1,44,451 deaths while 94,89,740 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
The initial public offer (IPO) of Mrs. Bectors Food Specialities received bids for 246.78 crore shares as against 1.32 crore shares on offer on Thursday (17 December 2020), according to the stock exchange data at 15:15 IST. The issue was subscribed 186.44 times.
The issue opened for subscription on Wednesday (15 December 2020) and it will close today (17 December 2020). The price band for the IPO is set at Rs 286-288 per share.
The Nifty Financial Services index rose 1.10% to 14,952.30, advancing for fifth day in a row. The index has added 3.48% in five sessions.
HDFC (up 2.73%), Bajaj Finance (up 2.42%), HDFC Bank (up 2.11%), HDFC Life (up 0.97%) and Kotak Mahindra Bank (up 0.62%) advanced.
REC (down 3.08%), Mahindra & Mahindra Financial (down 2.89%), PFC (down 1.75%), Shriram Transport (down 1.75%), Piramal Enterprises (down 1.07%), Cholamandalam (down 1.04%), HDFC AMC (down 0.93%), SBI (down 0.82%) and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance (down 0.77%) declined.
Stocks in Spotlight:
Jubilant FoodWorks (JFL) jumped 4.96% to Rs 2808. The company said it has forayed into the biryani segment with a new brand 'Ekdum!' as part of its portfolio expansion. Ekdum! will offer a selection of twenty different biryanis curated from various parts of India. It will also offer an extensive range of kebabs, curries, breads, desserts and beverages. Ekdum! starts with three restaurants in Gurgaon for delivery, takeaway and dine-in, with more restaurants planned to open in NCR over the next few months.
Wonderla Holidays rose 1.96% to Rs 219. The company has received formal approval from the Ramanagara Deputy Commissioner to resume operations of its theme park in Bangalore. The theme park will be open to the public again from 18 December onwards.
Olectra Greentech hit an upper circuit of 10% at Rs 115.15 after the company said it emerged as the lowest bidder to provide 353 electric buses to state transport authorities and state government undertaking. Olectra Greentech have been declared as L-1 (least quoted) bidders for 353 electric buses from 5 state transport authorities and 1 state government undertaking including under FAME-II scheme of Government of India.
CSB Bank rose 2.53% to Rs 221.25. Nomura Singapore bought 14,96,357 equity shares (representing 0.86% stake) of CSB Bank via bulk deal on Wednesday (16 December 2020) at average price of Rs 214.50. The shares were purchased from Akena on the NSE.
Navin Fluorine International added 2.12% to Rs 2551.30. The chemicals maker announced that its board has approved capital expenditure for setting up of a multi-purpose plant (MPP) with an outlay of Rs 195 crore. The capex will be undertaken by its wholly owned subsidiary, Navin Fluorine Advanced Science (NFASL) at Dahej, Gujarat and will be funded through a mix of internal accruals and debt. The company said its new capacity is expected to come on stream during H1 of FY23 and will create opportunities for new products in life science and crop science sectors in the specialty chemicals business.
Shares in Europe rose across the board while most Asia shares advanced on Thursday as investors reacted to the latest announcements from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
In US, Wall Street rose on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq closing at a record high as investors awaited a potential fiscal economic stimulus package and after the Federal Reserve repeated a pledge to keep its benchmark interest rate near zero.
The U.S. central bank kept benchmark interest rates near zero, as expected, following the conclusion of its two-day meeting. The Fed said it will buy at least $120 billion of bonds each month “until substantial further progress has been made toward the Committee's maximum employment and price stability goals,” according to its post-meeting statement.
Congressional leaders closed in on a $900 billion rescue deal that would include a new round of direct payments to consumers. However, that package excludes a liability shield for businesses and state and local aid, reports indicated.
US retail sales fell sharply in November, according to government data released Wednesday, a further sign of economic trouble as COVID-19 cases climbed and lawmakers remained deadlocked on approving economic stimulus. Sales fell 1.1% compared to October, when sales also dipped, the Commerce Department reported, much sharper than expected.