Mumbai: Equity benchmark indices on Friday (December 20) open flat to a positive start. The Sensex was up 21.94 points or 0.05% at 41695.86, while the Nifty was down 0.80 points or 0.01% at 12258.90. Among major gainers on the Indices were Tata Motors, SBI, HCL Tech, Bharti Infratel, Hero MotoCorp, and Adani Ports, while Britannia Industries, Yes Bank, Sun Pharma, and HDFC Bank are losers. About 372 shares have advanced, 185 shares declined, while 31 shares remain unchanged.
Equity benchmark indices on Thursday, however, reversed early losses and hit fresh record highs in the afternoon session despite uncertainty in global markets after the US House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power. The BSE S&P Sensex closed 115 points higher at 41,674 while the Nifty 50 gained by 38 points at 12,260.
At the National Stock Exchange, Nifty auto was up by 1.03 per cent and IT by 0.65 per cent. Tata Group stocks shed early losses and traded in the positive zone, a day after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) reinstated Cyrus Mistry as the Executive Chairman of Tata Group. Tata Consultancy Services closed 2.9 per cent higher at Rs 2,231.70 per share while Tata Motors was up by 2.4 per cent and Tata Steel by 0.48 per cent.
In the global markets today, Asian shares snoozed near 18-month highs as trade thinned in the run-up to Christmas and investors seemed content to digest the chunky gains already made so far this month. MSCI`s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was a fraction firmer in early trade, having gained 1.2% for the week so far and almost 5% for the month.
Japan`s Nikkei inched up 0.1% after reaching a 14-month top earlier in the week. It was ahead by 2.5% for the month so far. South Korea`s market added 0.25% on the day and 5.5% for December.
Sentiment had been bolstered after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States and China would sign their Phase One trade pact in early January. Mnuchin said it was completely finished and just undergoing a technical "scrub," though Beijing has so far dodged all details of the deal.
The US House of Representatives also overwhelmingly approved a new North American deal that leaves $1.2 trillion in annual U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade flows largely intact.
The S&P 500 hit a sixth straight record high, its longest streak since January 2018, and the Nasdaq climbed for the seventh session in a row. The S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow all notched record closing highs. The Dow ended Thursday up 0.49%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.45% and the Nasdaq 0.67%.
Early Friday, the pound was huddled at $1.3017 having toppled from a $1.3514 peak when Prime Minister Boris Johnson used his sweeping election victory to revive the risk of a hard Brexit.
Other currency pairs were little changed on the week with the euro stuck at $1.1124 having found support around $1.1100. The dollar idled at 109.36 yen , having spent the entire week in a tight 10917/109.67 range.
Against a basket of currencies, the dollar had edged up 0.2% for the week to 97.393 thanks mainly to the steep drop in sterling.
Spot gold was flat at $1,479.00 per ounce , and up just a fraction for the week so far.
Oil prices consolidated after reaching the highest level in three months, buoyed by falling crude inventories and the easing in US-China trade tensions.
Early Friday, US crude had eased back 11 cents to $61.07 a barrel, while Brent crude futures were yet to trade.
(With Agency Inputs)