Indices in green: Sensex soars over 1,000 points at 29,346, Nifty jumps 334 points to cross 8,500-level

At 12 noon, the Sensex soared 1057.71 points or 3.74 percent at 29,345.94 while the Nifty jumped 333.65 points or 4.04 percent at 8,597.10

The stock markets opened on a positive note today start on March 20 with Nifty above 8,300 level.

On Thursday, indices fell 2 percent lower and closed in red for the fourth straight session. Sensex closed 581 points lower at 28,288 and Nifty fell 205 points to end at 8,263.

Equity benchmark Sensex surged over 500 points in opening session on Monday 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

The Sensex was up 184.04 points or 0.65 percent at 28472.27, and the Nifty up 62.05 points or 0.75 percent at 8325.50 in early trade. About 491 shares have advanced, 285 shares declined, and 29 shares are unchanged.

The indices, however, succumbed to profit-booking at higher levels as concerns remained over the rising cases of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), traders said. After spiking 573.07 points, the BSE barometer gave up all gains to trade 195.57 points or 0.69 percent lower at 28,092.66.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty was trading 39.15 points, or 0.47 percent, down at 8,224.30, after hitting a high of 8,441.25 in early session.

On a net basis, foreign institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 4,622.93 crore on Thursday, data available with stock exchanges showed.

IndusInd Bank was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, tanking up to 7 percent, followed by HDFC twins, Kotak Bank, Bajaj Finance, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank. On the other hand, ITC, PowerGrid, HUL, ONGC and Sun Pharma were among the gainers.

Power Grid, Gail, ONGC, Vedanta, JSW Steel, Tata Steel , ITC Dr Reddy's Lab and Bharti Airtel are among major gainers on the Indices. Bank shares dragged the market. HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank were among major losers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced setting up of a task force under Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman which will take necessary actions "in the near future" after analysing the coronavirus pandemic situation. 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. Calling for "resolve and restraint" to fight coronavirus, Modi asked the entire country to observe 'Janta curfew' on Sunday. In a nearly 30-minute national broadcast, he asked people to stay indoors and work from home as much as possible while underscoring the dangers of coronavirus, saying the world has never seen a crisis as grave as this. 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. "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 huge oil bounty from the crude crash can be used for this, he said adding that PM's appeal is a curtain-raiser for the concrete actions to follow soon. Rupee appreciates The rupee appreciated 37 paise to 74.74 against US dollar in the morning session.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, was down 0.65 percent to 102.08, helping the rupee trade higher.

The domestic unit had closed at 75.12 against the US currency on Thursday.

Foreign investors remained net sellers in Indian capital markets as they pulled out more than Rs 4,622.93 crore on Thursday, market data showed

Fitch Ratings on Friday cut India's growth forecast to 5.1 percent for FY 2020-21, saying the coronavirus outbreak is likely to hit business investment and exports.

It had in December 2019 projected India's growth at 5.6 percent for 2020-21 and 6.5 percent in the following year. In its Global Economic Outlook 2020, Fitch said the number of people affected by coronavirus will keep rising in the coming weeks but that the outbreak will remain contained. However, there are downside risks to this scenario.

"Supply-chain disruptions are expected to hit business investment and exports. We see GDP growth to remain broadly steady at 5.1 percent in the fiscal year 2020-2021 following growth of 5.0 percent in 2019-2020," Fitch said. For 2021-22, Fitch projected India's growth to be 6.4 percent.

Asian shares bounce

Asian shares staged a rare rally on Friday as Wall Street eked out gains, bonds rallied and oil boasted its biggest bounce on record, though the panicked rush into US dollars suggested the crisis was far from done.

As the spread of the coronavirus brought much of the world to a halt, nations have poured ever-more-massive amounts of stimulus into their economies while central banks have showered markets with cheap dollars to ease funding strains.

Sources told Reuters China was set to unleash trillions of yuan of fiscal stimulus to revive an economy facing its first contraction in four decades.

“The speed and aggression with which authorities are wheeling out measures to cushion the economic fallout from the virus and sewing the seeds for a hopefully rapid recovery, has resonated somewhat in equity markets,” said Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy at NAB.

Updated Date: Mar 20, 2020 12:17:21 IST



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