Indian share market extended its gaining streak for the fourth straight session on Wednesday, undermining mixed cues from global peers. The rally came on the back of renewed appetite for riskier assets amid optimism that the latest variant of Covid-19 would have a lesser impact on the economy. Investors expect that a fresh wave of the Covid-19 pandemic will force global central banks to delay winding up of economic stimulus to maintain liquidity in the markets. However, the market gains were restricted by worries about a spike in coronavirus infections, with the daily tally surging to 58,097 on Wednesday, while Omicron cases rose to 2,135.

Extending gains for the fourth straight session, the BSE Sensex reclaimed the crucial 60,000 mark by rising 367 points, or 0.61%, to settle at 60,223 on January 5. The BSE Sensex has gained 1,970 points in the first three sessions of the calendar year 2022.

In a similar trend, the NSE Nifty rallied 120 points, or 0.67%, to close at 17,925, its highest level since November 17.

Underperforming the benchmark indices, the broader markets ended on a mixed note. The S&P BSE Midcap index closed 0.36% higher, while the S&P BSE Smallcap index settled with marginal loss.

The overall market breadth on the BSE was positive, with 1,970 stocks advancing out of total traded shares of 3,759. Meanwhile, 1,594 shares declined, while 144 ended unchanged.

On the sectoral front, all indices, barring IT, pharma and power, ended in positive terrain, while bank and metal stocks gained the most.

The BSE Bankex index emerged as the top performer with a 2.43% gain, led by Au Small Finance Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bandhan Bank, Axis Bank, and HDFC Bank.

The banking sector was followed by the metal index, which ended 1.61% higher. The top gainers in the metal space included Jindal Steel & Power, JSW Steel, SAIL, Tata Steel, and NMDC.

Top gainers and losers

The top gainers on the BSE Sensex pack were the Bajaj twins — Bajaj Finserv and Bajaj Finance — which ended 5.09% and 4.4% higher, respectively. Some of the other notable gainers included Bajaj Finance, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank, Tata Steel, and HDFC bank, which gained between 2.5% to 4.5%.

On the flip side, Tech Mahindra topped the BSE Sensex losers’ chart by falling 2.87%. The other top laggards included Infosys, HCL Technologies, Wipro, Power Grid Corporation of India, which dropped in the range of 1% to 2.7%.

Shares in news

Bajaj Finance: Shares of the Bajaj group company gained 4.4% after the financial services company released a business update for the December quarter. The company added 2.6 million new customers during the October-December quarter of 2021.

Tata Communications: Shares of the telecom company rallied as much as 9% to hit a record high of ₹1,542 in intraday trade today. Paring some of the early gains, the stock of the Tata Group firm closed 6.1% higher on the BSE.

Greaves Cotton: Shares of the Indian engineering company jumped 4.6% amid heavy volumes on reports that its arm Greaves Electric Mobility would expand its production capacity. The BSE has sought a clarification from the company in this regard and the reply is awaited.

Talbros Automotive: Shares of the automotive component maker surged 17%, extending rally for the second session after exchange data showed that renowned investors Vijay Kedia and Sanjay Dugar bought stake in the company during October-December quarter via open market transaction.

AU Small Finance Bank: Shares of the private sector lender rose 7% after it reported a 26.5% year-on-year growth in total assets under management (AUM) to ₹42,027 crore in the December quarter of 2021.

Thermax: Shares of the Indian engineering company climbed 1.5% after it secured an order worth ₹545.6 crore from an Indian power public sector company to set up flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) systems.

Asian stocks closed mostly lower

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region ended mostly lower on Wednesday amid looming fear about the global economic outlook due to the rise in cases of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19. The investors also turned cautious ahead of the U.S. December payroll data and minutes from the Fed’s last month meeting later in the week which may give some clarity on the potential pace of rate hikes.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index emerged as the biggest loser in the regional market with a 1.64% loss, followed by South Korea’s KOSPI, which dropped 1.18%. China’s Shanghai Composite index fell 1.02%, while the Straits Times Index in Singapore tumbled 0.56%.

In a similar trend, Taiwan Weighted index slipped 0.14%, Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite fell 0.5%, and Australia’s ASX 200 index ended 0.32% lower.

Bucking the trend, Japan’s Nikkei 225 ended 0.1% higher, while Thailand’s SET Composite surged 0.39%.

In the overnight trade, the U.S. stocks closed mixed as sell-off in technology shares dragged NASDAQ Composite lower, while the surge in banks and industrial stocks pushed the Dow Jones higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.59%, the S&P 500 slipped 0.06%, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite dropped 1.33%, led by electric car maker Tesla, iPhone maker Apple and IT giant Microsoft Corp.

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