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Sensex Rises Over 450 Points On Global Cues; Banking, IT Stocks Jump

Sensex Rises Over 450 Points On Global Cues; Banking, IT Stocks Jump

Gains across most sectors led the markets higher

Domestic stock markets started Thursday's session on a positive note, tracking gains in global peers as crude oil prices rebounded. The S&P BSE Sensex rose as much as 266.9 points to touch 31,646.45 in the first few minutes of trade, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark climbed to as high as 9,234.80 compared to its previous close of 9,187.30. While gains across most sectors led the markets higher, pharmaceutical stocks were at the forefront with the Nifty Pharma index rising as much as 1.35 per cent in early deals. 

However, the markets gave up most of those gains soon after. At 9:25 am, the Sensex traded 87.66 points - or 0.28 per cent - higher at 31,467.21 while the Nifty was up 24.65 points - or 0.27 per cent - at 9,211.95.

Analysts say investors are still on the back foot assessing the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on business.

Market breadth favoured gains with an advance-decline ratio of more than 2:1, as 1,112 shares traded higher on the NSE against 392 that moved lower. 

In the Nifty basket of 50 components, 33 shares enjoyed gains at the time. Top percentage gainers were Zee Entertainment, Britannia, UPL, ONGC, Tata Steel and Kotak Mahindra Bank, trading between 2.18 per cent and 9.98 per cent higher.

On the other hand, Titan, Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Nestle, Shree Cement and Hindustan Unilever - down between 0.83 per cent and 2.69 per cent each - were the top Nifty losers.

While ICICI Bank (up 1.84 per cent), Kotak Mahindra Bank (1.96 per cent) and TCS (1.34 per cent) were the biggest supports for the Sensex, HDFC Bank (down 0.77 per cent), HDFC (0.38 per cent) and Reliance Industries (0.09 per cent) were the biggest drags.

Equities in other Asian markets rose as the combination of a rebound in crude prices from historic lows and the promise of more US government aid to cushion the coronavirus-ravaged economy helped calm nervous markets.

Crude oil prices gained amid signs that producers are cutting supplies to cope with a collapse in demand for fuel as the coronavirus outbreak ravages the world's economies. Brent crude - the global benchmark for crude oil - was last seen trading up 1.6 at $20.70 a barrel, a day after rising more than 5 per cent.

Better-than-expected US corporate earnings also lifted equities, analysts said, though overall sentiment remained fragile as the pandemic cut a destructive path through the world economy.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside of Japan bounced from two-week lows to be up 0.5 per cent at 460.43 points.

Australian S&P/ASX added 0.4 per cent, Chinese shares opened firm with the blue-chip index up 0.3 per cent. Japan's Nikkei climbed 0.8 per cent. The gains followed a strong overnight lead from Wall Street with the Dow up 2 per cent, S&P 500 adding 2.3 per cent and Nasdaq rising 2.8 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Economic Advisory Council of the Fifteenth Finance Commission will meet on April 23-24 to take stock of the emerging economic situation arising out of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Council will study the implications of COVID-19 on economic growth in 2020-21 and 2021-22.