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Sensex, Nifty End Flat; Midcaps, Smallcaps Outperform

Share markets closed a choppy session flat Friday, snapping a three-day gaining streak. Headline indices dragged by financial and IT shares, however, gains in metal shares kept the losses in check.

The 30-scrip Sensex closed at 58,786, as it declined 20 points and the Nifty50 index marginally fell 5 points to end at 17,511. The broader markets outperformed the headline indices as both midcaps and smallcaps rose over 0.7 percent. Market breadth favoured the advances during the session, with two stocks rising for every one that gained.

Among the 50 stocks on Nifty, Asian Paints, Grasim, SBI, SBI Life, TCS led the gains, as the scrips rose over 1 to 3 percent. Leading the losses were Titan, Divi’s Lab, HDFC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and Axis Bank.

Among sectors on NSE, a strong rally was seen in Nifty Media, PSU Bank, and Realty indices. Nifty Bank recovered intraday losses of 0.7 percent to end in positive territory, up 0.1 percent. Nifty Financial Services, FMCG, IT, Pharma, and Healthcare indices. Nifty Oil & Gas also closed over half a percent higher.

Globally, stocks dipped, retreating from two-week highs set in the previous session amid renewed concerns about COVID-19 and caution ahead of key US inflation data. However, oil remained on track for its biggest weekly gain since late August.

Riskier markets have performed well this week, helped by indications the Omicron strain of the new coronavirus might not be as economically disruptive as first feared. But that bounce was running out of energy on Friday ahead of November’s US consumer price index data, due later.

European stocks were down 0.35 percent but eyeing a weekly rise of 2.7 percent. S&P 500 futures rose 0.3 percent, however, clawing back a little ground after the index fell 0.72% on Thursday.

Crude oil prices were on course to rise over 6 percent this week on easing concerns over the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant on global growth and fuel demand. US crude was up 0.3 percent to $71.15 a barrel. Brent crude was up over 0.1 percent to $74.49.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.8 percent, snapping three days of gains. Japan’s Nikkei shed 1 percent. Shares in China Evergrande Group lost nearly 2 percent after Fitch downgraded it to restricted default status. Contagion was limited, however, with Hong Kong stocks off 1 percent. Gold dipped 0.2 percent to $1,771 an ounce.

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