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Hopes of healthy Q3FY22 results buoy equity indices; Omicron concerns cap gains (Roundup)

Mumbai, Jan 7 (IANS) Expectations of healthy Q3FY22 earning results buoyed India's equity indices -- S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 -- to settle on a flat-to-positive close on Friday.

Besides, FIIs pumped in Rs 496.27 crore into the capital market segment.

However, weak global cues along with rising concerns over the third domestic Covid wave capped the gains. Initially, both the indices had a gap-up opening after they faced a volatile session.

The Sensex and Nifty settled at 59,744 points and 17,812 points, up 0.2 per cent and 0.4 per cent from their previous close, respectively.

The two indices erased early gains following weak cues from global peers and rising concerns over the Omicron variant.

Globally, Asian shares mostly rose, snapping two days of losses as investors waited to see if US payroll numbers alters the pace of interest rate hikes expected from the Federal Reserve this year.

On the other hand, European bourses opened mostly flat to higher on the day but quickly edged into negative territory, with investors focusing on inflation data for the euro zone and US jobs data.

On the domestic front, volumes on the NSE were higher than recent averages.

Amon sectors, oil and gas, metals and FMCG indices rose the most, whereas capital goods, telecom and healthcare lost the most.

"Nifty logged the best week in 4 months, rising 2.6 per cent. Nifty on daily charts, however, has formed a long legged doji with slightly upward bias," said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.

"Volume pickup and positive advance decline ratio portend well for the near term. 17,944-17,655 could be the range for the Nifty in the near term," he added.

According to Siddhartha Khemka, Head of Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services: "Global markets were weak, weighed down by disappointing European economic data and ahead of the release of key US employment numbers for December. Also, investors continue to assess the impact of policy tightening by the US Federal Reserve."

"Meanwhile, the third Covid wave has once again resulted in imposition of some state-level restrictions. While this wave, so far, seems less severe in terms of mortality and hospitalisation, one needs to watch out for the trend and reactions of both the state and central governments in the next few weeks."

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said, "Strong appetite for healthcare and consumer durable stocks aided the markets in closing flat with a positive bias.

"Although rising Omicron cases and hawkish stance by the US Fed is keeping the market volatile, hopes of a favourable earnings season and FIIs switching to net buyers is pumping in optimism into the market."