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F&O expiry: Sensex ends off-record highs; zooms 16% in 2020; Nifty adds 15%

Investors comforted from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's declaration that India will begin its Covid-19 vaccination programme in 2021

MARKET WRAP | Markets | Coronavirus

SI Reporter  | New Delhi 


Benchmark indices logged their highest annual gains since 2017 and ended with double digit gains for second straight year. Riding on the back of strong liquidity owing to loose monetary policies and weakening of the US dollar, the S&P and Nifty50 surged around 16 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, in 2020.

Add to it, the Sebi's directive on investment in multi-cap funds, the party in the broader indices was even more impressive. The S&P BSE500 gained 20 per cent in CY20 and recorded its best performance in the past three years. Moreover, the S&P Midcap and S&P Small-cap indices have rallied 18 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively in CY20.

Despite the Covid-19 induced lockdown that brought all activity to a standstill for nearly three months, the stock market rally was powered by a strong gush of liquidity from foreign portfolio investors who pumped in $22.4 billion or Rs 1.66 trillion in equities during the year. The flows in November and December are one of the highest ever seen in Indian equities. In the last two months alone, FIIs have poured almost Rs 1.18-trillion in Indian equities, data show.

Thursday's session

traded sideways through the day, moving in the range of around 300 points, and ended 2020's last trading day on a flat note. The S&P BSE settled 5 points, or 0.01 per cent, higher at 47,751 levels. The BSE barometer of 30 shares hit a record high of 47,897 earlier in the day, clocking stellar gains of 87 per cent from their March lows of 25,639.

The NSE's Nifty50, on the other hand, closed unchanged at 13,982 level. The index scaled mount 14,000-mark in the intra-day session and extended gains to hit record high of 14,010 levels. The index is now up 86.5 per cent from March lows.

Investors comforted from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's declaration that India will begin its Covid-19 vaccination programme in 2021. Meanwhile, dry run for Covid-19 vaccine administration is set to begin in all states from Saturday, January 2.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE MidCap and SmalCap indices outrun frontline indices and settled 0.2 per cent and 0.36 per cent higher, respectively.

On the sectoral front, Nifty FMCG index ended as top loser on the NSE, down 0.4 per cent, while Nifty Realty index closed over 1 per cent higher. 

Global markets

Asian shares edged up on Thursday and ended a tumultuous 2020 at record highs. MSCI's gauge of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan rose 0.17 per cent heading towards its latest closing peak. Asian gains were led by Chinese blue chips which rose 1.76 per cent on Thursday after the announcement of a trade deal with the EU overnight. The Hong Kong benchmark rose 0.31 per cent.

However, European stocks retreated on Thursday as investors squared positions on the last trading day of the year. In light trading, UK’s FTSE 100 fell 1.5% and France’s CAC 40 dropped 0.7%. Both will close early on Thursday.

(With inputs from Reuters)



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