New Delhi: The Indian equity benchmarks turned positive in late morning deals after falling over 450 points in opening trade on Monday. Both the domestic indices were trading on a highly volatile note. Asian stock markets were generally weaker with U.S. crude in holiday-thinned trading, as uncertainty over the economic impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant weighed on investor sentiment.
China reported its highest daily rise in local Covid-19 cases in 21 months over the weekend as infections more than doubled in the northwestern city of Xian, the country’s latest Covid hot spot. Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.20 per cent while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.11 per cent. Mainland Chinese shares, though, were mixed, with Shanghai’s benchmark sliding 0.37 per cent but an index of blue chips edged 0.05 per cent higher.
“There is concern over the widening spread of the Omicron variant, which is overall making people cautious about taking stocks higher” in Japan, a market participant at a Japanese securities firm, told news agency Reuters.
Back home, as of 11:01 am, the 30-share Sensex pack was up 47 points or 0.08 per cent at 57,172 and the broader NSE Nifty inched 15 points or 0.09 per cent higher to 17,019.
Mid-cap shares were trading in red as Nifty Midcap 100 index was down 0.21 per cent, while small-cap shares were up 0.09 per cent.
On the stock-specific front, Tech Mahindra was the top Nifty gainer as the stock surged 2.04 per cent to Rs 1,759. Cipla, Sun Pharma, L&T and Mahindra & Mahindra were also among the gainers.
On the flipside, IndusInd Bank, HindalCo, Eicher Motors and Bajaj Finance were among the losers.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,854 shares were advancing while 1,363 were declining on BSE.
On the BSE platform, Tech Mahindra, PowerGrid, Sun Pharma, L&T, Dr Reddy’s and HCL Tech attracted the most gains with their shares rising as much as 2.02 per cent in early trade.
Asian Paints, Maruti, ITC and Bharti Airtel were among the losers.
Also, RBL Bank tanked as much as 20 per cent after its top executive stepped down and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) appointed an executive to its board.
Sensex had ended 190.97 points or 0.33 per cent lower at 57,124.31 on Friday; while the broader NSE Nifty declined 68.85 points or 0.40 per cent to settle at 17,003.75.