Markets surrender gains in fag-end selloff in RIL

Markets plunge as investors remain in selling mode
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Markets plunge as investors remain in selling mode

Highlights

The Sensex and Nifty surrendered most of the day's gains to end marginally higher on Wednesday, pressured by a fag-end selloff in heavyweight Reliance Industries

Mumbai: The Sensex and Nifty surrendered most of the day's gains to end marginally higher on Wednesday, pressured by a fag-end selloff in heavyweight Reliance Industries.

During the day, the 30-share BSE Sensex rallied 777 points, driven by positive sentiment across global markets on hopes of a Covid-19 vaccine. The index, however, made a U-turn in the last hour of trade and settled just 18.75 points, or 0.05 per cent, higher at 36,051.81.

On similar lines, the NSE Nifty closed 10.85 points, or 0.10 per cent, up at 10,618.20, after soaring 220 points during the session. Reliance Industries (RIL) was the biggest drag on the Sensex, skidding 3.71 per cent after scaling its life-time high of Rs 1,978.50 (intra-day) as investors rushed to book profits amid a slew of announcements at its annual general meeting.

RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani said Google will invest Rs 33,737 crore to buy 7.7 per cent stake in Jio Platforms, completing RIL's capital-raising target for the digital arm.

Ambani also announced Jio is developing a homegrown 5G telecom solution, but added that his group's planned stake sale in oil-to-chemical business to Saudi Aramco has not progressed as per the original timelines due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Bharti Airtel, ONGC, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance and SBI were also among the laggards, shedding up to 4.24 per cent. On the other hand, Infosys rallied 6.16 per cent ahead of its quarterly earnings. HCL Tech, TCS, Tech Mahindra, Axis Bank and HUL too ended with smart gains.

According to traders, during majority of the session, domestic investors were enthused by hopes of a Covid-19 vaccine as two contenders began human trials in India and one US-based candidate successfully completed the initial phase of human trials. However, the fag-end selloff in RIL halted the rally, they said.

"The stock price of Reliance has witnessed a decline towards the end of the AGM since most of the news was already priced in and there were not many surprises," said Nirali Shah, Senior Research Analyst, Samco Securities.

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