This Article is From Dec 31, 2020

Nifty Gains 15% In 2020, Best Annual Return Since 2017

Share Market Latest Updates: Asian share markets edged higher on Thursday and were set to end a tumultuous 2020 at record highs

Nifty Gains 15% In 2020, Best Annual Return Since 2017

Stock Market Updates: Selling pressure in financial and IT shares weighed on the markets.

Domestic stock markets soared to record highs before ending flat on the last day of the year 2020, as global equities hovered near record highs though in thin trade due to holidays. The S&P BSE Sensex index rose 119.34 points, or 0.25 per cent, to an all-time high of 47,865.56 during the session, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark crossed the 14,000 mark for the first time ever, to clock an all-time high of 14,010.15. For the year, the Sensex gained 6,497.59 points, marking a 15.75 per cent return, and the Nifty added 1,813.30 points, or 14.90 per cent -- their best annual performances since 2017.

Here are 10 things to know about the markets today:

  1. The Sensex ended 5.11 points, or 0.01 per cent, higher at 47,751.33 and the Nifty settled flat at 13,981.75. (Track Sensex, Nifty Here)

  2. Top percentage gainers in the Nifty basket of 50 shares were HDFC, Sun Pharma, Divi's Laboratories, ICICI Bank and Asian Paints, ending between 0.96 per cent and 1.27 per cent higher. Shree Cement, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), UltraTech Cement, Bharti Airtel and Grasim, finishing the day with losses of 1.17-2.44 per cent each, were the worst hit among 28 laggards in the index. 

  3. Gains in pharmaceutical, metal and real estate shares were offset by losses in IT, consumer goods and state-run lenders. 

  4. HDFC, ICICI Bank and Infosys were the biggest supports for Sensex, whereas TCS and Reliance Industries were the largest drags. 

  5. Optimism on a fast recovery from the coronavirus-caused slowdown among investors supported the markets, however caution prevailed ahead of the derivatives expiration due by the end of the day, say analysts.

  6. The country's current account surplus -- or the difference by which exports exceed imports -- shrank to $15.5 billion in the July-September period, from a record $19.2 billion in the previous quarter, as its merchandise trade deficit grew, RBI data showed on Wednesday. The surplus stood at 2.4 per cent of the country's GDP, compared with a deficit of $7.6 billion, or 1.1 per cent, in the corresponding period last year.

  7. The recent current account surpluses -- three straight quarters -- have largely been caused by a decline in the country's trade deficit, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and by a drop in economic activity

  8. European shares fell amid thin trading volumes on Thursday as lockdowns and rising COVID-19 cases overshadowed optimism around the rollout of vaccines in the New Year. The UK's FTSE 100 fell 1.70 per cent. 

  9. The MSCI World Index was down on the day as gains in Asia gave way to the losses in Europe. The index is headed for a near 14 per cent rise in 2020 after surging more than 60% from its March lows. Despite a stimulus-charged rebound since the pandemic-induced market slump in March, most European markets have underperformed the United States and Asia, where a series of record highs have been reached.

  10. Still, despite the rising COVID-19 cases and increasing unemployment, investors were betting the rollout of vaccines in 2021 will unleash an economic rebound spurred by plentiful fiscal and monetary cash.