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India stock markets edged higher today, recovering from early losses, as global equities regained some poise after Friday's selloff. The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.16% higher at 17,053, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.27% to 57,260. The Indian rupee fell 22 paise to close at 75.09 against the US dollar, as investors turned cautious in view of a new variant of COVID-19.

Among Sensex stocks, Kotak Mahindra Bank led gains in the Nifty, rising 3% after the lender said the Reserve Bank of India had allowed LIC to increase its stake in the bank to up to 9.99% from 4.96% as of September 30. 

Heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) settled 1.2% higher, after its telecom business Jio announced hike in prepaid tariffs.

“The Nifty has closed marginally above the 17000 level but that is hardly any solace - the trend in the short term continues to be negative. We resisted at the 17150 level and turned from there. If the 17000 mark gets disrespected, we could fall to 16500 which is the next level of support," said Manish Hathiramani, proprietary index trader and technical analyst at Deen Dayal Investments.

However, broader markets underperformed wherein midcap and small cap ended lower by 1% and 2% respectively. Amongst the sectors, realty, oil & gas and pharma were the top losers while the IT index gained nearly 1%.

While Omicron cases have been detected in at least a dozen countries, a South African doctor who had treated cases said symptoms of the virus were so far mild. The World Health Organisation said assessing the severity of Omicron could take "days to several weeks", though in a sign of caution it warned on  that it posed a "very high" global risk. European equities were higher today and US stock futures pointed to a higher open later today. 

Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities, said: “Nifty closed the day with a long legged doji suggesting possible reversal of the latest downmove. The low of the day i.e. 16782 will be a crucial level to watch out for on the downside, while on the upside 17280 could offer resistance."

Ajit Mishra, VP - Research, Religare Broking Ltd, said: “We expect choppiness to remain high citing the prevailing uncertainty around the new COVID variant. Besides, on the domestic front, macroeconomic data like GDP numbers, core sector data and auto sales figures will further add to the volatility. We reiterate our cautious stance and suggest preferring hedged positions."

The second quarter GDP data will be announced tomorrow. 

 

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