Markets open in green: Sensex rises over 250 points, Nifty 70 points up; L&T, Axis Bank rally 3% in opening trade

  • Sensex was trading 233.92 points or 0.57 percent higher at 41,349.30. Similarly, the broader NSE was trading 60.80 points, or 0.50 percent, up at 12,167.70

  • Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Axis Bank were the top gainers in the Sensex pack, rising up to 2.77 percent after the companies posted positive quarterly numbers

  • The rupee depreciated by 3 paise to 71.22 against the US dollar in early trade on Thursday amid rising demand for the greenback vis-a-vis other currencies overseas, even as crude oil prices eased

Sensex rose over 250 points on Thursday tracking gains in L&T, Axis Bank and Infosys, despite the massive selloff in global equities.

The 30-share BSE index was trading 233.92 points or 0.57 percent higher at 41,349.30. Similarly, the broader NSE was trading 60.80 points, or 0.50 percent, up at 12,167.70.

In the previous session, Sensex settled 208.43 points, or 0.50 percent, lower at 41,115.38; while the Nifty closed 62.95 points, or 0.52 percent, lower at 12,106.90.

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Axis Bank were the top gainers in the Sensex pack, rising up to 2.77 percent after the companies posted positive quarterly numbers.

Aftermarket hours on Wednesday, L&T reported a 15 percent rise in its consolidated net profit at Rs 2,560.32 crore for the quarter to December 2019.

Likewise, Axis Bank posted a 4.5 percent year-on-year jump in net profit at Rs 1,757 crore for the third quarter ended December 2019 amid improving asset quality, a PTI report said.

Shares of Infosys jumped 1.44 percent after the government said it was working with the managed service provider for the goods and services tax (GST) regime, to improve the performance of GSTN filing portal on a permanent basis.

On the other hand, HUL, Nestle, Asian Paints, and Tech Mahindra was trading in the red.

According to traders, despite the selloff in other Asian equities amid fears of contagion after a deadly new virus emerged from China, stock-specific action kept domestic benchmarks buoyed.

Rupee slips 3 paise against US dollar

The rupee depreciated by 3 paise to 71.22 against the US dollar in early trade on Thursday amid rising demand for the greenback vis-a-vis other currencies overseas, even as crude oil prices eased. Besides, foreign fund outflows also weighed on the local unit, forex dealers said.

 Markets open in green: Sensex rises over 250 points, Nifty 70 points up; L&T, Axis Bank rally 3% in opening trade

However, a positive opening in the domestic equity market supported the rupee and restricted the fall, they added.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened weak at 71.21 and slipped further to hit 71.22 against the US dollar.

The domestic unit had settled at 71.19 against the American currency on Tuesday.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, declined 1.36 percent to $62.35 per barrel.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.02 percent to 97.54.

Foreign institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 176.43 crore on a net basis on Wednesday, provisional exchange data showed.

The 10-year Indian government bond yield was at 6.63 percent.

Asian shares wilt, oil tumbles as China virus spreads

Asian shares and US stocks fell on Thursday as investors remained anxious about the spread of a new flu-like virus in China just as millions prepared to travel for the Lunar New Year, according to a Reuters report.

Oil futures tumbled to seven-week lows as the contagion was expected to hit airline travel, while the International Energy Agency’s warning of an oil surplus and a larger-than-expected increase in U.S. crude inventories re-kindled fears of excess supply.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.45 percent.

Blue-chip Chinese shares slumped 0.91%. Australian shares were down 0.57%, while Japan’s Nikkei stock index slid 0.6 percent.

The Chinese yuan fell toward a two-week low, while safe-havens such as the Japanese yen, gold, and US Treasuries rose before a travel blockade of the Chinese city, Wuhan, at the centre of the outbreak starts later on Thursday.

Deaths in China from the new coronavirus rose to 17 on Wednesday, with nearly 600 cases confirmed. The outbreak has evoked memories of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002-2003, another coronavirus which broke out in China and killed nearly 800 people in a global pandemic.

“Markets are expressing concern about the growth outlook,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

“The coronavirus has introduced some caution. There is no reason to expect a global pandemic now, but there is some repricing in financial markets.”

US stock futures fell 0.02 percent on Thursday in Asia.

The S&P 500 eked out a 0.03 percent gain on Wednesday, but the overall tone on Wall Street was mixed as investors assessed the impact of the virus and braced for the corporate earnings season.

Cases have been detected in Beijing, Shanghai, Macau, Hong Kong, Japan, and the United States. Wuhan’s local government said it would close all urban transport networks and suspend outgoing flights as of 10 AM. on Thursday. Citizens have been urged not to leave the city.

However, there are fears the virus could spread rapidly, because millions of Chinese travel domestically and abroad during the week-long Lunar New Year holidays, which start on Friday.

Air China, China’s flagship carrier, skidded 2.78% to the lowest in more than eight weeks. Shares of Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd fell 1.55 percent, while Japan Airlines Co dropped 1.4 percent and rival air carrier ANA Holdings Inc declined 1.17 percent.

In the onshore market, the yuan edged down 0.1 percent to 6.9160 per dollar, approaching the lowest since 10 January.

The yen rose 0.2 percent to 109.64 versus the dollar, while the Swiss franc traded at 0.9679 against the greenback.

Gold, another asset that is often bought as a safe haven, rose 0.07 percent to $1,559.17 per ounce.

The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes fell slightly to 1.7551% in Asia as some investors sought the safety of government debt.

U.S. crude fell 1.69% to $55.78 a barrel, briefly touching the lowest since 3 December. Brent crude slumped by 1.55% to $62.26 per barrel to reach the lowest since 4 December.

The American Petroleum Institute said US crude inventories rose 1.6 million barrels last week, compared with analysts’ expectations for 1 million-barrel draw.

Markets took Republican US President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in stride, as he is widely expected to be acquitted in the Republican-controlled Senate.

--With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jan 23, 2020 12:11:49 IST


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