Shrugging off concerns surrounding the Omicron variant, market bulls lifted the markets for a second day on Thursday. The BSE Sensex index closed at 58,461 levels, up 776 points or 1.35 per cent. With today's gains, the index is up nearly 1,400 points in 2 days.
The NSE Nifty50, on the other hand, closed at 17,402-mark, up 235 points or 1.37 per cent. The index hit a high of 17,420 in the intra-day deals.
According to VK Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services, confirmation of the first Omicron case in the US and its presence in 23 countries now is a major concern for equity markets. However, he believes that since risk appetite for equity is high globally, any positive news regarding the new Covid-19 variant can push markets up even though the risk is high.
Overall, 28 of the 30 Sensex constituents and 47 of the 50 Nifty constituents ended the day in the green. This was led by Adani Ports (up 4.5 per cent), Power Grid (up 3.7 per cent), HDFC, Sun Pharma, Grasim, Tech Mahindra, BPCL, and Tata Steel.
The only large-cap laggards were Cipla, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank.
In the broader market, the BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices gained 1 per cent each.
Among individual stocks, shares of Vodafone Idea gained 6 per cent intra-day to hit a high of Rs 13.40 on the BSE today. They neared their 52-week high level of Rs 13.80, which was touched on January 15, 2021, before ending 1 per cent higher at Rs 12.8 per share. In the past 2 days, the shares have rallied 21 per cent on the back of heavy volumes.
On the downside, shares of Paytm ended lower for fifth straight day, down 2.2 per cent at Rs 1,600 per share. Paytm, which has moved wildly since its listing, has received the first 'buy' rating from Dolat capital that expects the company to turn profitable by March 2026. The brokerage expects the company's transition to a "manufacturer" of financial services from an agent, cross-selling of services, and strong growth in the number of users to help it.
Now, a look at some of the other top news of the day:
>> Primary market was abuzz with 3 offers today. Anand Rathi Wealth's public offer, which opened for subscription today, sailed through and was subscribed 1.2 times till about 4 PM. That of Tega Industries, which opened yesterday, had been subscribed 13 times by that time.
However, the Rs 7,249-crore IPO by Star Health and Allied Insurance, which closes today, was still struggling to sail through. Till 3:50 PM, the issue had been subscribed 78 per cent.
>> That apart, Indian ride-hailing company Ola plans to go public in the first half of 2022, Chief Executive Officer Bhavish Aggarwal said on Thursday. Ola, backed by Japan's SoftBank Group, is also gearing up to create something of a "super app" with plans to broaden its services beyond mobility to include personal finance and micro insurance.
>> Lastly, Maruti Suzuki India, the country's largest carmaker, on Thursday said it is planning to increase vehicle prices from January next year to offset the impact of the rise in input costs. The price increase would vary from model to model, the auto major said, without sharing the details. Shares of the company ended 0.4 per cent higher.