Benchmark indices continued to trade in a narrow range on the back of thin volumes due to tepid investor activity ahead of the year end. In today’s choppy session, good buying interest was seen in selected IT and pharma stocks while some selling pressure is seen in metal and real estate names.
At close, the Sensex was down 12.17 points or 0.02 percent at 57,794.32. The broader Nifty was down 9.60 points or 0.06 percent at 17,204. About 1,711 shares have advanced, 1447 shares declined, and 89 shares are unchanged.
Among the top Nifty gainers were NTPC, IndusInd Bank, Cipla, HCL Technologies and Dr Reddy's Laboratories while Bajaj Auto, JSW Steel, Reliance Industries, UPL and Tata Steel were among major losers.
Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail), Kotak Securities Ltd, said, "After a muted opening, the Nifty moved in a narrow range between 17,150 to 17,250. It made a couple of attempts to hold on to the higher terrain at 17,250, but slipped from the level due to lack of follow through buying interest. For the bulls, 17,275 would be the important breakout level to watch and if the index manages to trade above the same, we can expect a quick uptrend towards 17,325-17,375 levels. On the flip side, trading below 17,150 could trigger further weakness up to 17,100-17,065."
Mohit Nigam, Head - PMS, Hem Securities said, "Strong buying was seen in graphite twins with Graphite India closing up +19 percent and HEG closing up +13 on December 30. RBL Bank tanked 9 percent and Adani Green plunged 6 percent today. Overall, the global markets were mixed today as investors are uncertain about the consequences of surging COVID-19 cases in different parts of the world.
"On the technical front, overall structure looks positive for Nifty 50 as it manages to sustain above 17,200-level on a closing basis which is a positive sign for the index technically and we believe we can witness a 200-300 points rally from here in near term. 17,000 and 17,400 are immediate support and resistance in Nifty. For Bank Nifty, 34,500 and 35,500 are immediate support and resistance," Nigam added.
Sachin Gupta, AVP, Research, Choice Broking, said, "After a flat opening, the benchmark index traded in a narrow range ahead of weekly as well as monthly expiry. On the technical front, the index has been trading in falling channel formation, crossing above the upper band of formation can show an upside rally in the counter. Moreover, the index has been trading above 21 & 50-HMA which suggests strength in the counter. A momentum indicator Stochastic & MACD is trading with a positive crossover on the daily time-frame. At present, the Index has support at 17000 levels while resistance comes at 17,300 levels, crossing above the same can show 17,400-17,500 levels. On the other hand, Bank Nifty has support at 34,500 levels while resistance at 35,500 levels."
Prashanth Tapse, Vice President (Research), Mehta Equities Ltd., said, "Investors preferred to stay on the sidelines. The year-end celebrative mood or hope of "Santa Claus rally" was missing with totality albeit with no conviction and limited breadth. Cautious optimism likely to be the preferred theme at Dalal Street on hopes that the omicron COVID variant's effect on equities will ultimately be modest. We suspect the benchmark Nifty can extend its annual "Santa Claus rally" only if investors can shrug-off Omicron as barely more than a blip on the radar."
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