Markets keep document run on vaccine progress; finance, FMCG shares spurt

Mumbai, December 7

Domestic equity indices sprinted to fresh lifetime highs on Monday as investor sentiment got a lift after Pfizer and Serum Institute applied for emergency use authorisation for their COVID-19 vaccines in India.

Robust buying in finance, FMCG and banking counters offset weak global cues and a depreciating rupee.

Rising for the third straight session, the 30-share BSE Sensex soared 347.42 points or 0.77 per cent to its fresh closing peak of 45,426.97, after touching a record intra-day level of 45,458.92.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty rose 97.20 points or 0.73 per cent to an all-time closing high of 13,355.75. It touched its record intra-day peak of 13,366.65 in early trade. The Nifty has now made fresh lifetime highs for five straight sessions.

Hindustan Unilever (HUL) was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, jumping 3.09 per cent, followed by Bharti Airtel, HDFC, ITC, IndusInd Bank, SBI, Sun Pharma, ONGC, Tech Mahindra, L&T and ICICI Bank.

On the other hand, Kotak Bank, Nestle India, Tata Steel, Bajaj Finance and HDFC Bank were among the laggards, dropping up to 1.37 per cent.

Vaccine major Serum Institute of India (SII) on Monday said it has applied to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use authorisation for the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine in the country.

Earlier on Saturday, the Indian arm of US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer became the first company to seek a similar approval from India’s drug regulator for its coronavirus vaccine in the country, after securing such clearance in the UK and Bahrain.

“News of progress in the COVID vaccine and healthy inflows by FIIs helped markets to continue the upward trend… We are seeing buying interest emerging on every dip, thanks to rotational participants across the sectors. 

“Technically, Nifty could face a hurdle around 13,450. The stock-specific trading approach is yielding decent returns so far and we suggest continuing with the same. Also, keep a close watch on global markets and upcoming domestic macro data for cues,” said Ajit Mishra, VP – Research, Religare Broking.

BSE telecom, FMCG, healthcare, oil and gas, industrials, teck and capital goods indices climbed up to 2.78 per cent, while consumer durables and realty closed with losses.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices rallied up to 1.30 per cent.

Global equities wobbled as fresh US-China tensions and prospects of a no-deal Brexit weighed on market sentiment.

In Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo ended in the red, while Seoul finished with gains.

Stock exchanges in Europe were largely trading with losses in early deals.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude futures slipped 1.02 per cent to USD 48.75 per barrel. 

The rupee dropped by 10 paise to end at 73.90 against the US dollar amid a stronger grenback in overseas markets. PTI

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