Benchmark indices started positive on Monday helped by gains in Reliance Industries, bank and IT stocks even though investors remained anxious about the potential threat posed by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Kotak Bank rose the most among Sensex scrips, spurting 2.92 per cent, after LIC received RBI approval to raise its stake in the private sector lender to nearly 10 per cent.
BSE Sensex ended the day 153.43 points or 0.27 per cent higher at 57.260.58. In opening trade, the index fell more than 500 points or over 1 per cent in line with weak global cues. The NSE Nifty too ended higher by 37.50 points or 0.16 per cent higher at 17,053.95.
Kotak Bank was the highest gainer in the Sensex pack, rising more than 2.92 per cent. This was after state-insurance company LIC received RBI approval to raise its stake in the private sector lender to nearly 10 per cent.
Market heavyweight Reliance Industries jumped 1.26 per cent a day after its telecom arm Jio announced a hike in prepaid tariffs from the next month.
Gains in HCL Tech, TCS, Titan, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv and Tech Mahindra also helped Sensex close in the green.
On the other hand, Sun Pharma, NTPC, Axis Bank, Nestle, Bajaj Auto, SBI and Dr Reddy's were among the major drags, dropping up to 2.03 per cent.
Sectorally, the BSE tech, IT, consumer durables and telecom indices rose up to 0.67 per cent, while utilities, realty, power, oil and gas, and industrials tumbled as much as 2.61 per cent.
In the broader markets, the BSE midcap and smallcap gauges lost up to 1.90 per cent.
Asian stock markets declined further after governments imposed travel controls due to the spread of the new coronavirus strain.
Governments across the globe started imposing fresh travel restrictions as cases of the new variant emerged in several countries. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated Omicron as a 'variant of concern', the health body's top category for worrying coronavirus variants, although South African health authorities said symptoms of the new strain were mild so far.
No case of the Omicron variant has been detected in India yet.
Analysts told news agency PTI that global markets traded mixed. They were to make a choice between buying on dips and the uncertainties over the impact of Omicron on economic recovery. Another analyst told the news agency the global markets had factored well the near-term uncertainty limiting further downside. According to the analyst at Geojit Financial Services, the telecom sector was in focus as all sector majors decided to hike their prices signalling an end to the low-tariff regime.
Markets are expected to continue being volatile amid the prevailing uncertainty around the new COVID variant
European bourses were trading in the positive zone in the afternoon session.
Brent crude jumped $2.82 to $74.41/barrel in London.
Foreign institutional investors remained net sellers in the capital market on Friday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 5,785.83 crore, as per exchange data.
The rupee fell by 23 paise to close at 75.12 against the dollar on Monday owing to the prevailing anxiety about the new COVID variant among investors. The rupee touched an intra-day high of 74.82 against the dollar and fell to an intra-day low of 75.16 in a highly volatile trading session.
On Friday, the rupee had plunged by 37 paise or 0.50 per cent against the US dollar to close at a nearly month's low of 74.89.
(With Inputs from PTI)