NEW DELHI: Benchmark indices took a breather on Wednesday and were on course to snap a three-day winning streak, as daily Covid cases hit the 50,000 mark and states imposed weekend curfews.
Global cues were mixed, with the US benchmark Dow Jones settling at a record high overnight, but Asian markets were largely trading in the red. Technical charts were suggesting a possibility of profit taking at highs.
That said, the losses were restricted, as investors did not see the economic impact of the ongoing Covid wave as steep.
“The Dow setting a new all-time new high when the number of daily Omicron cases crossed 1 million in the US might appear as a paradox, but this is a clear message from the market that the fast-spreading less virulent variant of the virus marks the beginning of the end of the pandemic. Also, most countries are not imposing fresh restrictions impacting economic activity,” said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.
jumped 2.55 per cent to Rs 7,530. Bajaj Finserv climbed 1.55 per cent to Rs 17,378.
, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank advanced 1 per cent each. Axis Bank, Nestle India and M&M added up to 1 per cent.
On the flipside, HCL Technologies declined 1.99 per cent to Rs 1,307. Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Infosys and TCS dropped up to 1.8 per cent. NTPC, IndusInd Bank and Bharti Airtel fell up to 0.9 per cent.
Gland Pharma gained 0.46 per cent to Rs 3,900.35. Laurus Labs climbed 2.28 per cent to Rs 530.80. Foreign brokerage Jefferies has initiated coverage on Gland Pharma and Laurus Labs with buy ratings. It has a target of Rs 4,566 on Gland Pharma, valuing the stock at 36.5 times FY24 EPS, in line with its historical one-year forward of 37 times. The target suggests a 17.28 per cent potential upside over Tuesday’s closing price of Rs 3,893.
On the other hand, the brokerage sees Laurus Labs at Rs 628, assigning it a multiple of 21.5 times FY24 EPS compared with its historical average of 20 times.
On Tuesday, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) were buyers of domestic stocks to the tune of Rs 1,273.86 crore, data available with NSE suggested. DIIs were net buyers to the tune of Rs 532.97 crore, data suggests.
In overnight trade, Dow Jones rose 0.59 per cent to close at 36,799.65. The S&P500 edged 0.06 per cent lower at 4,793.54.
The majority of Asian markets stocks opened on a weaker note on Wednesday as investors prepared for the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s December policy meeting and jobs data later in the week that could play a major role in determining the bank’s plans. MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.69 per cent.