The Indian benchmark closed higher after a choppy trade session on Friday, led by gains in index heavyweights Reliance Industries, Asian Paints, TCS, Nestle India, and ICICI Bank amid a mixed trend in global markets. The market sentiment was lifted on hopes of favourable earnings season and consistent buying by foreign investors. However, persistent concerns about U.S. interest rates hike and sharp rise in Covid-19 cases across the country restricted market gain. India reported 1.17 lakh cases today, while death toll climbed to 4,83,178 with 302 more fatalities reported in the last 24-hours.

The BSE Sensex ended 143 points, or 0.24%, higher at 59,744, and the NSE Nifty surged 67 points, or 0.38%, to settle at 17,813. During the day’s trade, Sensex touched an intraday high of 60,130 and intraday low of 59,401.

Outperforming the benchmark indices, the broader markets ended with solid gains. The S&P BSE Midcap index closed 0.54% higher, while the S&P BSE Smallcap index settled with 0.43% gain.

The overall market breadth on the BSE was positive, with 2,227 stocks advancing out of total traded shares of 3,763. Out of total shares, 1,428 shares declined and 108 were unchanged.

The sectoral indices ended on mixed note, with bank, FMCG, IT and oil & gas stocks rising, while auto, capital goods and pharma companies ended lower.

The BSE oil and gas index emerged as the best performer by gaining 1.14%, led by ONGC, Gujarat Gas, HPCL, Indian Oil, and Indraprastha Gas. It was followed by the bankex index, which ended 0.65% higher. The top gainers in the banking space were AU Small Finance Bank, Bandhan Bank, Federal Bank, Bank of Baroda, and ICICI Bank.

Top gainers and losers

The top performer of the BSE Sensex pack was Asian Paints, which ended 1.79% higher. Some of the other notable gainers included Tata Consultancy Services, Nestle India, UltraTech Cement, and ICICI Bank, which settled with more than 1% gain each.

On the losing side, financial services company Bajaj Finserv topped the losers’ chart by falling 1.4%. The other top laggards included Mahindra & Mahindra, Larsen & Toubro, Bajaj Finance, and Housing Development Finance Corporation, which dropped in the range of 1-1.3%.


Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL): Shares of Mukesh Ambani-led oil-to-telecom conglomerate ended 1% higher after its retail arm acquired stake in grocery delivery app Dunzo. Reliance Retail Ventures (Reliance Retail) has acquired a 25.8% stake in Dunzo for $240 million.

Hinduja Global Solutions: Shares of the IT service management company hit 20% lower circuit today after it approved an interim dividend of ₹150 per share for the current financial year FY22. The board approved a 1-for-1 bonus share issue.

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank: Shares of the small finance bank surged 7% after it posted 22% year-on-year growth in its loan book for the third quarter ended December 2021. The gross loan book rose to ₹16,600 crore as against ₹13,600 in the same quarter of previous year. Total deposits surged 34% YoY to ₹15,600 crore as on December 31, 2021.

Zee Learn: Shares of the education company tumbled 10% after Morgan Stanley sold 47.69 lakh shares of the company. As per the exchange data, Morgan Stanley Asia (Singapore) Pte on Thursday sold 47,69,108 equity shares at ₹18.44 per share via open market transaction on the NSE.

IRB Infrastructure Developers: Shares of the road construction company climbed 1.7% after its wholly-owned arm executed a concession agreement with Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) for the ₹6,555 crore Ganga Expressway project in the state.

Anand Rathi Wealth: Share price of the financial services group dropped 2.3% after it reported 146% YoY growth in consolidated net profit at ₹32.03 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2021. The revenue from operations rose 55% to ₹106 crore as against ₹68 crore in the same quarter last year, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Macrotech Developers: Shares of the real estate company closed 1% higher after it reported a 40% rise in sales bookings to ₹2,608 crore during the quarter ended December 2021.

Global markets mixed ahead of U.S. Job data

Overseas, Asian markets ended on mixed note on Friday as investors awaited the key U.S. jobs data, slated to be released later tonight. The market regained some ground amid hopes that spike in Covid-19 cases in the U.S. would force the Federal Reserve to delay tapering of bond purchases.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng emerged as the best performer in the regional market by rising 1.8%. Australia’s ASX 200 index also gained 1.2%, followed by South Korea’s KOSPI, which climbed 1.2%. The Straits Times in Singapore gained 0.7%.

In mainland China, the Shanghai composite ended 0.2% lower, while the Shenzhen Component fell 0.6%. Japan’ Nikkei 225 also closed tad lower.

Moving on to European markets, Germany’s DAX dropped 0.3% in early trade, while France’s CAC slipped 0.1%, following weak cues from Wall Street. The UK’s FTSE 100 Index and Italy’s FTSE MIB index traded marginally higher, while Spain’s IBEX index fell in early deals.

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