Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex ended 84 points higher after a volatile session on Thursday as concerns over rising coronavirus infections and resultant restrictions across the country kept investors on the edge.

The 30-share BSE index settled 84.45 points or 0.17 per cent higher at 49,746.21. The broader NSE Nifty advanced 54.75 points or 0.37 per cent to 14,873.80.

UltraTech Cement was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying over 4 per cent, followed by Titan, Tech Mahindra, Nestle India, TCS, Bajaj Finserv and L&T.

On the other hand, IndusInd Bank, ONGC, Sun Pharma, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank were among the laggards.

Domestic equities, despite trading positively for most of the session, gave up a large portion of gains towards the end of the day as concerns of rising COVID-19 cases continued to weigh on investor sentiment, said Binod Modi, Head-Strategy at Reliance Securities.

Financials witnessed profit-booking and dragged the market. Barring financials, most of key sectoral indices traded in the green with metal index remaining an outperformer.

“Expectations of steady 4QFY21 earnings and weakening INR continued to attract investors’ interest towards IT stocks,” he noted.

While softening of bond yields and crude prices in recent period offered some comfort to markets, a sharp depreciation in rupee in the last couple of trading days could be a new worry for investors, which can also have an impact on FPI flows, he added.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul ended on a positive note, while Tokyo was in the red.

Stock exchanges in Europe were largely trading with gains in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.44 per cent lower at USD 62.88 per barrel.

Rupee Slips For 4th Straight Session, Down 11 Paise At 74.58 Against USD

The rupee fell for the fourth straight session and settled 11 paise down at 74.58 (provisional) against the US dollar on Thursday amid fears that a rapid resurgence of Covid cases in the country can disrupt economic recovery.

At the interbank forex market, the local unit opened at 74.38 against the greenback and traded in the range of 74.19 to 74.93 during the day.

The rupee finally ended at 74.58 against the American currency, registering a fall of 11 paise over its previous closing of 74.47.

On Wednesday, the Indian rupee nosedived 105 paise to mark its biggest single-session drop in over 20 months.

India registered a record single-day spike of 1,26,789 new COVID-19 cases, pushing its infection tally to 1,29,28,574, while the number of active cases too went upwards to breach the nine lakh-mark again, Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday showed.

Jateen Trivedi, Senior Research Analyst at LKP Securities, said that “government spending keeps increasing on vaccines and health products due to rising COVID-19 cases. INR will be seen in a range of 74.45-75.15 in sessions ahead with a weak trend for the rupee”.

This is the fourth straight session of loss for the domestic unit, during which it has seen depreciation of 146 paise.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.06 per cent to 92.39.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, was trading 0.51 per cent down at USD 62.84 per barrel.

On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 84.45 points or 0.17 per cent higher at 49,746.21, while the broader NSE Nifty advanced by 54.75 points or 0.37 per cent to 14,873.80.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 227.42 crore on Wednesday, according to exchange data.

Gold Jumps Rs 182; Silver Zooms Rs 725

Gold rose by Rs 182 to Rs 45,975 per 10 gram in the national capital on Thursday following gains in the international precious metal prices, according to HDFC Securities.

In the previous trade, the metal had closed at Rs 45,793 per 10 gram.

Silver also witnessed increased buying and jumped Rs 725 to Rs 66,175 per kg from the previous close of Rs 65,450 per kg.

HDFC Securities Senior Analyst (Commodities) Tapan Patel said, “Spot gold prices for 24 karat in Delhi were up by Rs 182 with gains in COMEX (New York-based commodities exchange) gold prices.”

In the international market, gold was trading with gains at USD 1,744 per ounce and silver was flat at USD 25.30 per ounce.

(This Story Is A Compilation Of 3 PTI Stories)