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Sensex rises 282 points, Nifty ends above 12,850; banking stocks lead gains

Among sectors, barring media and pharma, all the sectors closed in green territory, with banking, financials, IT, and FMCG closing above 1% each

Sensex rises 282 points, Nifty ends above 12,850; banking stocks lead gains

During the week, Sensex and Nifty have gained by 439 points or 1.01% and 139 points or 1.09%, respectively

After a volatile trading session, benchmark indices turned bullish in the last hour and closed positive on Friday, tracking positive cues from global markets and sustained foreign fund inflows.

Reversing the trend from yesterday's losses, Sensex ended 282 points higher at 43,882 and Nifty rose 87 points to end at 12,859. Yesterday, Sensex reversed the trend after 3 days and fell 580 points to close at 43,600, while Nifty ended 166 points to 12,771. During the week, Sensex and Nifty have gained 439 points or 1.01% and 139 points or 1.09%, respectively.

Bajaj Finserv, Titan, Bajaj Finance, Kotak Bank, Bharti Airtel, Nestle India and NTPC were among the top gainers today. On the other hand, Reliance Industries, IndusInd Bank, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank, ONGC, and HUL were among the laggards. Among sectors, barring media and pharma, all sectors closed in green territory, with banking, financials, IT, and FMCG closing above 1% each.

Today, Dow Futures and Nasdaq Futures were down by 0.3% and 0.1% respectively, while London's FTSE was up by 0.6%.

US equities ended with modest gains on Thursday following a report that US lawmakers may restart negotiations on economic stimulus, overshadowing concerns of rising COVID-19 cases and increasing restrictions. Further, preliminary data released earlier on Thursday stated University of Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine candidate triggered a similar immune response among all adults. Oxford and AstraZeneca's data came a day after Pfizer and BioNTech said their Covid-19 vaccine candidate was 95% effective.

Asian markets were mixed on the last trading day of the week as investors continued to weigh in rising coronavirus cases and likely increase in restrictions. Traders said the recent rise in markets on the back of vaccine development saw some profit booking amid fresh fears of the shutdown.

Nirali Shah, Senior Research Analyst, Samco Securities said," Nifty 50 index closed the week with a mild gain after making an all-time high of 12963. But now the benchmark index has formed a bullish reversal pattern which opened with a gap near highs of the week and then gave up all the gains. The rally's velocity has also been declining along with the volume participation. In fact, Nifty has started facing resistance at the rising channel visible on the weekly chart and might continue to struggle going ahead as it lacks participation from the top index movers like ICICI Bank, HDFC, and banking stocks, who have also become a bit stretched on the upside in the short term. We suggest traders to keep an eye on the benchmark and go short unless it breaks the rising channel on the upside."

Jyoti Roy- DVP- Equity Strategist, Angel Broking said," While markets are not cheap at current levels they are also not very expensive and therefore we believe that a 10-12% upside is very much possible in the markets over the next one year. The increasing likelihood of a second US stimulus package coupled with low-interest rates globally should result in continued strong FPI flows to India. Positive news flow on the vaccine front 2021 has also contributed to the risk-on rally over the past few weeks. While markets are not cheap at current levels and there could be some short-term volatility over the next few months in case of any adverse news flows, we remain positive on the markets from a longer-term perspective. Abundant global liquidity, strong revival in earnings in FY22 coupled with prospects of a medical solution to the Covid-19 crisis should drive markets over the next year despite any short term volatility."

On the currency front, the Indian rupee appreciated by 11 paise to settle at 74.16 per US dollar on Friday.

Expressing views on the currency, Sugandha Sachdeva VP-Metals, Energy & Currency Research, Religare Broking said," The rupee is currently drawing a lot of support from equity inflows and the fact that the dollar globally is on the backfoot. Going forward, we think that the rupee has scope to further appreciate till 73.80. However, beyond that, the RBI would step in to curtail its move, while the dollar index may also rebound given the uncertain growth outlook in the U.S. That should put some downward pressure on the rupee. The domestic unit is expected to trade in the 73.80 to 75 band till the end of this month."

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