Sensex, Nifty end flat on last trading day of 2020; close year with 15 pc gains

·3-min read

Mumbai, Dec 31 (PTI) Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty closed almost flat on the last trading day of 2020 on Thursday, capping off a tumultuous year with handsome gains of around 15 per cent.

In choppy trade, the 30-share BSE Sensex inched up by 5.11 points 0.01 per cent to its new closing record of 47,751.33.

After opening on a firm footing, the index hit its all-time high of 47,896.97 during the day.

The broader NSE Nifty crossed the 14,000 level for the first time, touching a record intra-day peak of 14,024.85. The 50-issue index pared gains to close at 13,981.75, down by just 0.20 points.

The indices, however, finished the year 2020 with overall gains of around 15 per cent. The Sensex gained 15.7 per cent while the Nifty jumped 14.9 per cent in the year.

HDFC was the leading gainer among Sensex stocks on Thursday, rising by 1.65 per cent, followed by Sun Pharma, ICICI Bank, Asian Paints, Titan and Infosys.

TCS was the biggest loser, shedding 1.33 per cent. Ultratech Cement, Bharti Airtel, Kotak Bank and Tech Mahindra were among the other major laggards.

'Markets reached an all-time high on the final day of a tumultuous 2020 which was filled with deep market corrections and unexpected rebounds. However, the European markets lost steam on the final trading day owing to the pandemic and reports regarding an increased tariff on EU products by the United States.

'Despite the havoc created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy is expected to recover in 2021 giving a boost to the equity markets in addition to upgrades in corporate earnings,' said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Sector-wise, BSE realty, consumer durables, metal and healthcare gained up to 1.18 per cent, while telecom, FMCG and energy closed in the red.

In the broader markets, the BSE midcap and smallcap indices climbed up to 0.36 per cent.

Bourses in Tokyo and South Korea were closed for the New Year's holidays. Among others, Australia's S&P/ASX fell 1.4 per cent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose by 0.3 per cent.

The Shanghai Composite gained 1.2 per cent.

However, European bourses fell amid rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns.

Analysts said focus has been on vaccine-related developments around the globe, with China's Sinopharm becoming the latest to release encouraging study results.

On Wall Street, stocks eked out modest gains overnight. Oil prices inched forward in global trade.

Brent crude, the international standard, gained 25 cents to USD 51.34 a barrel.

Rising for the sixth straight session, the rupee appreciated by 24 paise to finish at 73.07 against the US dollar.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 1,824.52 crore on Wednesday, according to provisional exchange data. PTI MR ABM ABM ABM