Sensex, Nifty Close Flat as Market Loses Steam on Fag-end RIL Selloff
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Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty surrendered most of the day's gains to end marginally higher on Wednesday following an intense selloff in heavyweight Reliance Industries at the fag-end of the session. During the day, the 30-share BSE Sensex rallied 777 points, driven by positive sentiment across global markets on hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The index, however, made a U-turn in the last hour of trade and settled just 18.75 points, or 0.05 per cent, higher at 36,051.81. On similar lines, the NSE Nifty closed 10.85 points, or 0.10 per cent, up at 10,618.20. It had soared 220 points during the session. Reliance Industries (RIL) plunged around 4 per cent after scaling its life-time high of Rs 1,978.50 (intra-day) as investors rushed to book profits after the company's annual general meeting.
RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani announced that Google will invest Rs 33,737 crore to buy a 7.7 per cent stake in Jio Platforms, completing RIL's capital-raising target for the digital arm. Bharti Airtel, ONGC, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance and SBI were also among the laggards.
On the other hand, shares of Infosys rallied around 6 per cent ahead of its quarterly earnings. HCL Tech, TCS, Tech Mahindra, Axis Bank and HUL too ended with robust gains. According to traders, during majority of the session, domestic investors were enthused by hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine as two contenders began human trials in India and one US-based candidate successfully completed the initial phase of human trials.
However, the fag-end selloff in RIL halted the rally, they said. Bourses in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended with gains, while Shanghai was in the red.
Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading with significant gains. Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude futures rose 1.10 per cent to USD 43.37 per barrel. On the currency front, the rupee appreciated 27 paise to end at 75.15 against the US dollar.