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Sensex Rises Over 300 Points, Nifty Above 8,300 Amid Fluctuations

Sensex Rises Over 300 Points, Nifty Above 8,300 Amid Fluctuations

A COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force will be set up under leadership of Nirmala Sitharaman

Domestic stock markets are trading in the green, amid volatility, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an economic task-force to fight the coronavirus outbreak. The market has been volatile this morning as participants attempt to find their bearing after the 17.05 per cent fall in the Sensex and 16.99 per cent decline in the Nifty in the past four sessions alone. They are also attempting to factor the situation vis-a-vis coronavirus and the government's response to the pandemic.

The S&P BSE Sensex index has swung in a range of almost 1000 points between an intra-day low of 27932.67 and high of 28261.63 within the first hour of trade and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark has also oscillated more than 250 points between a low of 8,178.20 and a high of 8441.25 on the upside.

The Sensex surged over 500 points in opening session on hopes of an economic stimulus after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a financial task force to take necessary actions to combat the Covid-19 pandemic's economic blow. It, however, succumbed to profit-booking at higher levels as concerns remained over the rising cases of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), traders said.

At 10:25 am, the markets were trading at the mid point of the day; the Sensex had added 355.88 points - or 1.2 per cent - higher at 28,645.92 while the Nifty was up 113.25 points - or 1.31 per cent - at 8,371.15.

Addressing the nation on Thursday on the fast-spreading coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that a COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force will be set up under the leadership of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to deal with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Modi announced a junta curfew between 7 am and 9 pm on Sunday, so as to minimize the possibility of crowding and thereby promote social distancing, which is currently the most effective means of arresting the spread of COVID-19.

According to government sources, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will hold a meeting with MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari, Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel on Friday to assess the situation in order to work out a package.

"The PM had set the stage for more action to follow. The Covid- 19 Task Force under the FM's leadership can be expected to come out with concrete proposals very soon," said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

The novel coronavirus cases in India rose to 195 on Friday after 22 fresh cases were reported from various parts of the country, according to the Health Ministry data. Globally, the death toll from the virus has risen to over 9,800 with more than 232,650 cases in 158 countries and territories.

Meanwhile, the rupee too appreciated 37 paise to 74.74 against US dollar in morning session. And brent crude futures rose over 2.04 per cent to USD 29.05 per barrel.

Earlier on Thursday, market regulator Sebi announced a one-month extension to companies for filing their earnings for financial year 2019-20.

The Sensex had ended a volatile session on Thursday 581.28 points - or 2.01 per cent - lower at 28,288.23 and the Nifty settled at 8,263.45, down 205.35 points - or 2.42 per cent, marking a fourth straight session of losses.