The domestic share market ended lower in choppy trade on Wednesday as investors grappled with rising Omicron cases. The surge in Covid-19 cases in the country reignited fear about economic risks from the pandemic after the Delhi government announced to shut down theatres and multiplexes to contain the spread of the virus. The mixed trend in global equity markets also kept investors sidelined.

Snapping two sessions' gaining streak, the BSE Sensex ended 91 points, or 0.16%, lower at 57,806, and the NSE Nifty dropped by 19 points, or 0.11%, to settle at 17,213. During the day’s trade, the Sensex nosedived 432 points from the day’s high to hit an intraday low of 57,684 points.

Outperforming the benchmark indices, the broader markets ended higher. The S&P BSE Midcap and the S&P BSE Smallcap indices gained 0.13% and 0.49%, respectively.

The overall market breadth on the BSE was positive, with 2,171 stocks advancing as against 1,433 declining shares, while 125 remained unchanged.

Metal, PSU sectors lead fall

The Indian equities swung between gains and losses, as gains in health care and auto stocks were offset by losses in metal and PSU indices. The metal index was the worst performer on the sectoral front, falling 1% as SAIL, Jindal Steel & Power, Vedanta, Coal India, and Tata Steel led the dip.

The metal sector was followed by PSU space, which ended 0.7% lower. The top losers across the PSU index were KIOCL, The New India Assurance Company, MMTC, and IRCTC.

Top gainers and losers

The benchmark index BSE Sensex witnessed bearish trade with 19 out of the top 30 BSE stocks ending in negative terrain. State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, topped losers’ chart by falling 1.45%.

Some of the other notable losers on the BSE Sensex pack were ITC, Tech Mahindra, Tata Steel, and NTPC, which dropped in the range of 0.8-1.5%.

On the gaining side, drug maker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries topped the chart by surging 2.86%. It was followed by IndusInd Bank, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Titan Company, Bajaj Finserv, among others.

Shares in news

GR Infraprojects: Shares of the construction company ended 1.9% higher after it emerged as L-1 bidder for a tender invited by Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) for construction of five elevated stations of Noida-Greater Noida Metro Rail Project.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries: Shares of the drug maker rose 2.3% amid reports that the company plans to establish a new manufacturing plant in Andhra Pradesh. The sentiment was also boosted after the pharma major along with other players launched a generic version of anti-COVID-19 pill Molnupiravir in India. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved Molnupiravir for emergency use in the country. As many as thirteen Indian firms, including Cipla, Natco, Dr Reddy’s, Torrent Pharma, Aurobindo Pharma and Strides, can now manufacture and market Molnupiravir drug, developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

Balrampur Chini: The stock of the sugar manufacturer rallied 5% today amid heavy volume. The shares of the company has gained 17% in last six sessions after it received orders to supply 157,100 kilolitres of ethanol to both public sector and private sector oil marketing companies (OMCs).

C E Info Systems (MapmyIndia): Shares of the recently listed tech company rose 3% on Wednesday after making a solid debut on December 23. During the session, the stock gained as much as 10% to hit a new high of ₹1,774.80. The company, which provides digital maps, geospatial software and location-based IoT technologies, saw its shares rallying more than 22% in last two trading sessions following a strong debut last week.

Supriya Lifescience: The active pharmaceuticals ingredients manufacturer continued its gaining streak on the second day after making a stellar debut in the previous session. The stock surged 18% today after zooming 42.46% on the stock market debut on Tuesday. The ₹700 crore IPO of the company garnered a strong response from investors as the offer was subscribed 71.51 times during December 16-20.

Global markets show mixed trend

On the global front, shares in the Asia-Pacific region ended mostly lower, while European markets extended gains on Wednesday, led by banks and retail shares. The global equities witnessed cautious trading in the last week of the year.

Asian shares ended mostly lower as rising Omicron cases fuelled concerns about the economic outlook for next year.

China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was the worst performer in the region by falling 0.91% today. The rising Omicron cases in the country and lockdown in Xian city to contain the spread of Covid-19 weighed on market sentiment.

China’s Shanghai Composite was followed by Kospi index in South Korea, which dropped 0.89%. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 0.83%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 index tumbled 0.56%.

Bucking the trend, the Straits Times Index in Singapore rose 0.3%, Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite gained 0.04%, and Thailand’s SET Composite surged 0.72%. Australia’s ASX 200 index rallied 1.2% after it resumed trade after Christmas holidays, while Taiwan Weighted Index climbed 0.28%.

In the overnight trade, U.S. stocks ended mostly lower in choppy trade, dragged down by technology and healthcare stocks. The S&P 500 closed 0.1% lower, and the NASDAQ Composite dropped 0.6%. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average settled 0.3% higher.

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