Key stock indices Sensex and Nifty pared early losses in late morning deals on Monday following gains in Reliance Industries, HCL Tech, and TCS.
In a highly volatile market, the 30-share index BSE Sensex was trading higher by 375.23 points or 0.66 percent at 57,482.38 points at 1140hrs.
The index had tanked more than 500 points or over 2 percent in opening trade in line with weak global cues. The index swung between losses and gains in morning deals amid high volatility.
The broader NSE Nifty also rose by 108 points or 0.63 percent to 17,134.55 points on the back of gains in oil & gas, telecom, IT, and select banking stocks.
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Reliance Industries jumped by 2.66 percent in morning trade after its telecom arm Jio announced around a 21 percent hike in its prepaid tariff plans from December 1. Reports that the oil major is mulling a bid to acquire a British telecom company also boosted the stock.
Bharti Airtel also advanced 0.27 percent after a tariff hike last week, which analysts said would help boost the financials of telecom firms. Airtel and Vodafone Idea last week had announced up to a 25 percent hike in prepaid plans.
Private bank IndusInd Bank rose by up to 1 percent after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed promoters to hold a 26 percent stake in private banks after 15 years.
IT stocks also recovered from early lows. HCL Tech was up by 3.18 percent, TCS by 1.92 percent, and Infosys by 1.11 percent. Dr. Reddy, Bajaj Finserv, Kotak Bank, ICCI Bank, Titan, Tata Steel, and Tech Mahindra also advanced.
Among losers, HDFC dropped 1 percent, Nestle by 1.24 percent, ITC by 0.8 percent, Axis Bank by 0.73 percent, and HUL by 0.59 percent.
Investors are worried over the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, as it is unclear if the new strain is more dangerous than earlier strains even as the WHO called it ”highly transmissible”.
According to AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Guleria, the new variant has the potential of developing ”immune escape mechanisms” which may lead to a decreased efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.
Asian markets fell after the new coronavirus variant was found in more countries and governments imposed travel controls. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.1 percent, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo by 0.1 percent while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong declined by 0.8 percent.
The Kospi in Seoul declined 0.5 percent and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 retreated 0.3 percent.
Oil prices rebounded by more than USD 3 per barrel after Friday’s sharp fall. The global oil benchmark Brent crude futures advanced 3.66 percent to USD 75.38 per barrel.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Friday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 5,785.83 crore, as per exchange data.