The Indian share market closed lower for the second straight session on Thursday as investors rolled over their positions on the expiry of monthly F&O contracts today. The market continued lacklustre trade for the second session as most of the investors remained sidelined ahead of year-end celebration mood; rising Omicron cases also weighed on sentiment.

Extending fall for the second day, the BSE Sensex ended marginally lower by 12.17 points, or 0.02%, at 57,794, and the NSE Nifty slipped 9.65 points, or 0.06%, to settle at 17,203. During the day’s trade, the Sensex moved in a narrow range, hitting an intraday high and low of 58,010 and 57,578 points, respectively.

The broader markets settled on a mixed note, with the S&P BSE Midcap index falling 0.22%. The S&P BSE Smallcap index rose 55 points to end 0.19% higher.

The overall market breadth on the BSE was positive, with 1,952 stocks advancing as against 1,616 declining shares, while 137 remained unchanged.

Commenting on the F&O expiry, Rahul Gupta of Emkay Global Financial Services said, "It has been quite a volatile month for Nifty, wherein Nifty fell to a low of 16,400 at the same time has also seen a high of 17,600. Currently, it looks like Nifty is going to end 1-1.5% up for the month of December. FIIs have sold equities worth almost $2.7 billion in the month of December. This is the third consecutive month wherein FIIs would be the net sellers. Overall, FIIs continue to be the net sellers for the entire year 2021.”

IT, tech sectors shine; oil and gas, metal lead fall

On the sectoral front, IT and tech sectors emerged as top performers, while oil and gas and metal indices declined the most. The BSE oil and gas index was the biggest loser with a 1.43% loss, led by GAIL (India), Indraprastha Gas, Adani Total Gas, Reliance Industries, and HPCL.

Metal index followed the oil and gas index, as it dropped 1.15%. The top losers across metal space were Vedanta, Jindal Steel & Power, JSW Steel, Tata Steel, and SAIL.

Meanwhile, IT index was the best performer with a 0.96% gain amid earnings optimism. As per market experts, IT companies are expected to report strong earnings in Q3 FY22.

Top gainers and losers

The benchmark index BSE Sensex witnessed rangebound trade with 14 out of the top 30 BSE stocks flashing in the red zone. Reliance Industries, the country’s most valued firm, topped losers’ chart with a 1.94% loss.

Some of the other top laggards on the BSE Sensex pack were Tata Steel, Maruti Suzuki India, Bajaj Finance, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, and State Bank of India, which fell in the range of 0.5-1.4%.

Meanwhile, state-run energy conglomerate NTPC topped the gainers’ list by rising 3.13%. The other top performers included HCL Technologies, Titan Company, IndusInd Bank, and Wipro, which gained between 1.5-2%.

Shares in news

NTPC: Shares of the country’s largest energy conglomerate surged 3.13% after its arm NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd (NREL) bagged a tender to set up a 3GW renewable energy project worth around ₹15,000 crore. NREL will float a global engineering procurement and construction tender to set up a renewable energy project with a battery energy storage system in the next two months by February 2022.

RBL Bank: Shares of the private sector lender dropped over 9%, hitting 52-week low amid report that it wrote off loans worth ₹300 crore within seven months of the loans being sanctioned. In a separate development, Reserve Bank of India has approved the appointment of Rajeev Ahuja as interim managing director and chief executive officer of the bank for up to three months.

Delta Corp: Shares of the Indian gaming and hospitality company fell 4.4% after the Goa government imposed fresh curbs on occupancy at casinos in wake of rising Covid-19 cases.

Purvankara: Shares of the real estate developer tumbled 8% after it announced to sell 49% stake in its arm Keppel Puravankara Development to Keppel Investment for ₹112 crore.

Kalpataru Power: Shares of power transmission company surged 4.8% on securing new order. The company in an exchange filing said it has new orders worth ₹1,560 crore from India, Africa, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and South America in the power transmission business.

Asian markets end mostly lower

Shares in Asia-Pacific region ended mostly lower, following subdued cues from Wall Street. The continued rise in Covid-19 cases around the world and uncertainty over the economic impact of the highly transmissible Omicron variant weighed on market sentiment.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index closed 0.4% lower, while South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.5%. The Straits Times Index in Singapore fell 0.36%, and the Taiwan Weighted Index slipped 0.16%.

Meanwhile, China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.6% higher, followed by 0.11% gain in the Hong Kong’ Hang Seng index. Thailand’s SET Composite also rose 0.26%.

Meanwhile, most of European markets opened lower, mirroring weakness in global peers, as investors evaluate the potential impact of the fast spreading Omicron Covid-19 variant.

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