Sensex Rises 122 Points, Extending Gains For Second Straight Day

Stock Market India: Sensex, Nifty open in the green
Stock Market India: Sensex, Nifty open in the green

Indian equity benchmarks rose on the last trading day of a dismal year for financial markets that has caused equities and bonds to have their worst yearly performance in more a decade.

Despite dollar-demand pressure from oil importers, the rupee gained slightly against a steady dollar on the the last day of the year, quarter and month.

The 30-share BSE Sensex climbed 122.18 points to 61,256.06, and the broader NSE NIfty-50 index opened in the green, reflecting improved optimism in wider Asian markets which gained ground on Friday. 

Traders positioning on the expiry of the futures and options (F&O) contracts on Thursday boosted domestic stocks, with both benchmarks reversing sharp losses from earlier in the session to end the day with gains near the fag end of trading.

"In view of a sharp rally in the overnight US markets, local benchmark indices are expected to commence on a firm note on the last trading day of 2022," said Prashanth Tapse, Senior Vice President for Research at Mehta Equities.

"Amidst intra-day volatility, markets may see select bouts of rally on hopes the lifting of restrictions in China could revive demand going ahead, although concerns over rising interest rates and recession fears continue to weigh on investors' minds," he added.

Equity benchmarks in China, Japan, and Australia advanced, but the S&P 500's contracts declined, dulling the impact of the index's 1.7 per cent gain on Thursday, which was its best day of the month.

Hopes for a spectacular rally to end 2022 were dashed by the uncertain outlook. This year, inflation made a comeback and destroyed a fifth of the value of global stocks, the worst run since the financial crisis.

With Asian markets plummeting more than 19 per cent this year, somewhat less than the decline for global shares, few regions escaped the agony.

Bond prices fell 16 per cent, the most since at least 1990 for one key metric, as central banks raced to raise interest rates globally to tame the global rise in consumer prices.

The largest MSCI index of shares traded in Asia-Pacific outside Japan rose over 0.7 per cent on Friday, but would close December flat. The index is on track to fall 19 per cent for the year, marking its worst performance since 2008.

“I'm actually not so afraid of tech,” Sylvia Jablonski, CEO and CIO at Defiance ETFs, said on Bloomberg TV. “I do think you're going to see a recovery later in the year in a lot of these stocks and I think that investors are a little bit too afraid of them right now. They're going to miss out on a rebound opportunity in the next let's say 6-9 months.”

However, the domestic equity market held up well despite significant global headwinds that roiled financial markets around the world this year.

A stellar performance of bluechips saw the 30-share Sensex soaring nearly 13,000 points to its all-time high of 63,583.07 on December 1, in less than six months after touching its 52-week low of 50,921.22 points on June 17.

In the commodities markets, oil was set to close higher in 2022, a turbulent year marked by tight supplies from the Russia-Ukriane war.

Gold was set for it second straight yearly drop on rate-hike pressure from near decades-high inflation globally.

Going into 2023, inflation has still to be beaten, and investors will also be wary of geo-political tensions arising from Russia's war in Ukraine and diplomatic strains over Taiwan, analysts told Reuters.