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Market Wrap, Dec 31: Here's all that happened in the markets today

Riding on the back of strong liquidity owing to loose monetary policies and weak US dollar, the S&P BSE Sensex and Nifty50 surged around 16 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, in 2020.

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MARKET WRAP

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Investors added nearly Rs 156-trillion to their wealth in calendar year 2020 as benchmark indices logged their highest annual gains since 2017. Riding on the back of strong liquidity owing to loose monetary policies and weak US dollar, the S&P BSE Sensex 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 17 per cent in CY20 and recorded its best performance in the past three years. Moreover, the S&P BSE Midcap and S&P BSE Small-cap indices have rallied 20 per cent and 32 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.

Among individual stocks, Divis Laboratories, Larsen & Toubro Infotech, Escorts, Tanla Solutions, Laurus Labs, Dixon Technologies, IndiaMART InterMESH and Affle (India) are among the 36 stocks from the S&P BSE500 index that have given over 100 per cent return in CY20.

Of these 36 stocks, 17 stocks are from the pharmaceuticals (10) and information technology (7) sectors, underlining strong defensive tilt in the in the outgoing year.

On the other hand, 179 stocks from the BSE500 index have recorded negative returns during the year. Punjab National Bank, Union Bank of India, Canara Bank, Coal India and Oil India were down over 25 per cent during the year.

Coming to Thursday's market session, indices traded sideways through the day with the S&P BSE Sensex moving in the range of around 300 points, and ending 2020's last trading day on a flat note. The S&P BSE Sensex 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 around 87 per cent from their March lows of 25,639.

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

Investors found solace in 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.

At close, the BSE m-cap stood at Rs 188 trillion, up from Rs 32 trillion at the start of calendar year 2020.

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.

MONTHLY STAR

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First Published: Thu, December 31 2020. 17:54 IST
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