Key equity indices the Sensex and the Nifty ended in the green on December 29, thanks to buying in the last hour of trade even as global cues remained weak amid a sharp rise in Covid cases in China.
The Covid situation in China is alarming and the country's health system is overwhelmed after it eased Covid curbs earlier this month.
Sensex opened 282 points lower at 60,628.29 and fell 431 points to an intraday low of 60,479.06. The market benchmark remained in negative territory for most of the day.
However, the market witnessed hectic buying at the end of the day as investors covered their positions on the last day of the December F&O series.
Sensex rose 224 points, or 0.37 percent, to 61,133.88 while the Nifty ended the day at 18,191, up 69 points, or 0.38 percent.
Mid and smallcaps underperformed as the BSE Midcap index slipped 0.09 percent while the Smallcap index rose 0.22 percent.
Crude oil prices declined on demand concerns following Covid situation in China. Brent Crude fell over 2 percent to trade near the $81 per barrel mark. The rupee rose 6 paise to settle at 82.81 per dollar.
Top Sensex gainers: Shares of Bharti Airtel, SBI and Tata Steel ended as the top gainers in the Sensex index.
Top Sensex losers: Shares of Tata Motors, Titan and UltraTech Cement ended as the top laggards in the benchmark index.
Nifty Media, Consumer Durables, FMCG and Healthcare indices ended in the red, falling between 0.14-0.64 percent.
Nifty Oil & Gas, Metal and Private Bank indices rose over a percent each. Nifty Bank rose by a percent.
Experts' views on markets
Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial observed that the domestic market trend was influenced by the movements of its global counterparts, as a negative US closing pushed Indian bourses to a poor start. However, positive signals from US futures lifted the benchmark index above the flatline.
"Markets will continue to witness such sudden movements, underpinned by lingering recession and Covid fears, which bargain hunters will counter," said Nair.
Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail) at Kotak Securities pointed out that the markets shrugged off intraday volatility as last-hour buying helped key indices end in the green.
"Investors covered their positions on the last day of the December monthly expiry, fuelling an upsurge in metals, banking and oil and gas shares on hopes of a demand revival after China lifted Covid-related restrictions. But the sideways movement will continue going ahead as recessionary fears in the West continue to loom large in view of more likely rate hikes and tempered growth going ahead," said Chouhan.
Technical views by experts
The Nifty saw a gap down opening and moved lower towards the level of 18,000. The index witnessed base formation near the key psychological mark in the first half of the session and had a smart recovery in the second half.
Gaurav Ratnaparkhi, Head of Technical Research, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas said the index formed a bullish outside bar and an engulfing bull candle on the daily chart. On the way up, the index surpassed a falling trendline on the hourly chart and reached near the rising trendline, which was broken on the downside on Friday last week.
"It has also tested the 40 DEMA on the upside. Thus the Nifty has halted near a very crucial area. If the index crosses the level of 18,200 and sustains in the higher territory then it can march towards 18,400 in the short term. On the other hand, the level of 18,000 will continue to provide a cushion on the downside," said Ratnaparkhi.
Chouhan of Kotak Securities said Nifty formed a bullish candle on daily charts and a higher bottom formation on intraday charts is indicating a further uptrend from the current levels.
"For bulls, 18,000 would act as a sacrosanct support zone, and above the same, it could move up to 18,280. In case of further upside, the index could move up to 18,400. On the flip side, below 18,000, traders may prefer to exit out from the trading long positions and below the same, the index could slip till 17,900," said Chouhan.
Key markets data
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