MUMBAI: Despite rising cases of infections from the Omicron variant of Covid-19 virus globally, the stock market had a strong start to 2022 with the sensex rising 929 points or 1.6% as financials and Reliance Industries contributed the most. The reversal of foreign fund selling in the last few days, due to the ongoing holiday season in most developed markets, also helped the rally, market players said.
The day’s session saw banking & financials and metal stocks lead the rally while healthcare stocks, despite the rising uncertainty because of the spread of the Omicron variant, witnessed selling pressure. As a result, BSE’s financial, banking and metal indices, all closed with gains of over 2% while the healthcare index closed marginally lower.
According to Rahul Sharma of Equity99 Advisors, the expectation on the street is that the positive momentum would continue for a while. “However, investors are advised to keep some capital aside to take advantage of any major dips considering the rising Omicron infections. The pharma sector could be a great bet looking at the current scenario,” he said.
The day’s session also made investors richer by about Rs 2.5 lakh crore with BSE’s market capitalization now at Rs 272.5 lakh crore.
In the near term, the stock market is expected to witness some up move, supported mainly by local investors, both institutional and individual, but a definitive trend would emerge from the third week of the month, market players said. This is because that’s when most foreign fund managers would resume after their new year break. That would also be the time when leading Indian companies would start announcing their quarter results.
In a surprising move, TCS, Infosys and Wipro, all three among the largest software exporters from India, would announce their quarterly results on the same day, on January 12. HCL Technologies, another leading software exporter, would announce its results on January 14. The results season will kick off with Q3 results from Avenue Supermarts (D-Mart) on January 8, data from BSE showed.
As it happens during the announcement of quarterly results, to some extent, this time too financial numbers from leading companies would impact investor sentiment on D Street, dealers said.
The recent reversal in selling by foreign portfolio investors has also helped the Indian currency. From a multi-month low at about 76 to a dollar level in early December, the rupee on Monday closed at 74.26 to a dollar.
In the bond market too, despite RBI’s recent decision to cancel some of its borrowing plans through government securities, the benchmark yield on the 10-year gilts is hovering around the 6.45% level. On Monday, the yield closed at 6.46%.