Sensex soars 1,400 points; banking, finance stocks surge

Mumbai, March 26 (IANS) Buoyed by the first instalment of a fiscal package to contain the economic fallout of Covid-19, investors pushed Indian stock markets higher for the third consecutive day with the BSE Sensex rising over 1,400 points.

Although it rose above the 30,000 mark earlier in the day, it ended just below that psychological level. The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also ended well above the 8,500 mark.

There were both global and domestic factors supporting to investor sentiments on Thursday. Positive cues for the Asian markets during the early part of the day supported the Indian indices.

Global sentiments were boosted after US lawmakers cleared a $2 trillion stimulus package to fight against the fast-spreading coronavirus. Further hopes of announcement of an economic package by Centre also boosted the buying sentiments, analysts said.

However, as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman did not announce an economic package for businesses and corporates, the market started to falter from the day’s highs but eventually regained support as she indicated that a package for India Inc is in the works.

The Centre on Thursday announced a Rs 1.70 lakh crore relief package to protect the weaker sections of the society from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and the nation-wide lockdown. Announcing the measures of relief package, Sitharaman said that the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana will benefit migrant workers, rural poor and women.

There were high expectations that the government will announce certain economic relief measures for the industry. Addressing the media, Sitharaman indicated that concerns of India Inc, small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) segments and other segments hit by the lockd own might be looked at and the government could announce a plan later.

Consequently, the Sensex closed at 29,946.77, higher by 1,410.99 points or 4.94 per cent from the previous close of 28,535.78. It had opened at 29,073.71 and touched an intra-day high of 30,099.91 and a low of 28,566.34 points.

The Nifty50 settled at 8,641.45, higher by 323.60 points or 3.8 per cent from the previous close.

The rally in the indices was supported by healthy buying in finance, banking and telecom stocks. The S&P BSE Finance, Banking and Telecom indices rose by 6.61 per cent, 6.69 per cent and 10 per cent.

Among the Sensex stocks, IndusInd Bank gained the most, by 45.07 per cent, followed by Bharti Airtel (up 11.23 per cent), Larsen & Toubro (9.57 per cent), Bajaj Finance (8.06 per cent) and Kotak Mahindra Bank (7.66 per cent).

On the other hand, Maruti Suzuki India lost the most, by 3.05 per cent, followed by Tech Mahindra (down 2.60 per cent), Sun Pharmaceuticals (2.45 per cent) and Reliance Industries (0.60 per cent).

“Market has cheered this fiscal package and now expect relief measures for corporates, Banks, SMEs, start-ups, etc,” said Siddhartha Khemka, Head of Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.

“It would continue to be highly volatile and would track global markets along with the trend in coronavirus cases globally and locally.”

Khemka said: “Technically, with the Nifty rallying further, a pullback rally seems to be underway. Further upsides are likely once the immediate resistance of 8,749 is taken out. Crucial supports to watch for resumption of weakness are at 8,309.”


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