Sensex Trims Gains After Soaring 1,900 Points; Financial, IT Stocks Jump

Sensex Trims Gains After Soaring 1,900 Points; Financial, IT Stocks Jump

Analysts say volatility cannot be ruled out as market participants track coronavirus updates

Domestic stock markets began the three-day trading week on a positive note amid gains in global peers on signs of a slowdown in coronavirus-related deaths. The S&P BSE Sensex index rose as much as 1,905.72 points to touch 29,496.67 at the strongest level recorded during the session, and the broader NSE Nifty benchmark climbed to as high as 8,633.75, up 549.95 points from the previous close. Gains across sectors - led by banking, IT, auto and pharma shares - pushed the markets higher.

Here are 10 things to know about the markets today:

  1. At 1:08 pm, the Sensex traded 1,846.69 points - or 6.69 per cent - higher at 29,437.64 while the Nifty was up 524.80 points - or 6.49 per cent - at 8,608.60.

  2. In the Nifty basket of 50 stocks, 48 traded higher. Top percentage gainers were IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, Dr Reddy's, Cipla, Hindalco, ICICI Bank and JSW Steel, trading between 10.52 per cent and 17.43 per cent higher.

  3. Reliance Industries (up 9.27 per cent), HDFC Bank (7.76 per cent) and ICICI Bank (10.82 per cent) together accounted for a gain of nearly 750 points in the Sensex. 

  4. Market breadth was extremely positive with an advance-decline ratio of 5:1, as 1,700 stocks traded higher on the BSE against 488 that moved lower. On the NSE, 1,510 stocks advanced while 282 declined.

  5. The Nifty Pharma index - comprising stocks of 10 drug makers - was up 10.30 per cent at the time, having risen 10.34 per cent earlier. The government lifted export restrictions on 24 drugs, which were imposed last month due to the virus. 

  6. The markets remained shut on Monday for Mahavir Jayanti, and will also assume a holiday on April 10 for Good Friday, leaving only three trading days this week. 

  7. Analysts say volatility cannot be ruled out as investors assess the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global economy. India entered the fourteenth day of a 21-day countrywide lockdown to curb the spread of the deadly Covid-19 disease. 

  8. Equities elsewhere in Asia moved higher in an attempt at another day of gains, encouraged by the slowing death toll from the virus across major European nations, including France and Italy. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose almost 1 per cent. Japan's Nikkei futures opened lower but were 2.3 per cent above the cash close. 

  9. On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to roll out an unprecedented economic stimulus, equal to 20 per cent of economic output, as his government vowed to take "all steps" to battle deepening fallout from the coronavirus.

  10. Overnight in Wall Street, US equities rallied with the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite indices gaining more than 7 per cent each.