Sensex rallies over 900 points, Nifty reclaims 9,800 level; Glenmark shares jump 9% on reports of trials for potential COVID-19 drug

Shares of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd rose as much as 8.9 percent after the drugmaker said it got the Indian drug regulator’s nod to conduct clinical trials of antiviral drug favipiravir, seen as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

FP Staff April 30, 2020 11:09:36 IST
Sensex rallies over 900 points, Nifty reclaims 9,800 level; Glenmark shares jump 9% on reports of trials for potential COVID-19 drug

The markets opened on a positive note with the Sensex soared over 900 points in opening trade on Thursday. Abhishek A Rastogi, Partner, Khaitan & Co, said "the investors mood and confidence remain high both in the US and India with a ray of hope for an effective COVID-19 treatment claimed by American company Gilead Sciences. The experimental antiviral drug, Remdesivir, met the trial testing parameters and may be a huge scientific breakthrough.

"The Indian companies are also trying their best for an early breakthrough. March quarter earnings of top Indian corporates and US monetary policy decision will provide pragmatic cues for market especially when the April series F&O contracts would expire. Sentiments are also high due to pragmatic approach by the Narendra Modi government and most of the state governments," Rastogi said.

After hitting a high of 33,640.73, the 30-share index was trading 895.69 points or 2.74 percent higher at 33,615.85 tracking heavy buying at ICICI Bank, Infosys, HDFC twins and Reliance Industries counters amid rally in global stocks. Similarly, the NSE Nifty shot up 247.20 points, or 2.59 percent, to 9,800.55.

In the previous session, the BSE barometer settled 605.64 points or 1.89 percent higher at 32,720.16, while the Nifty advanced 172.45 points, or 1.84 per cent, to close at 9,553.35.

Maruti was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying nearly 7 per cent, followed by M&M, ICICI Bank, Infosys, Tata Steel, Bajaj Auto, Axis Bank and Bajaj Finance.

Shares of Reliance Industries, HUL and Tech Mahindra were trading on a positive note ahead of their earnings announcements.

Sensex rallies over 900 points Nifty reclaims 9800 level Glenmark shares jump 9 on reports of trials for potential COVID19 drug

Sensex. Pic courtesy: Getty Images

Shares of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd rose as much as 8.9 percent after the drugmaker said it got the Indian drug regulator’s nod to conduct clinical trials of antiviral drug favipiravir, seen as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

On the other hand, Sun Pharma was the sole laggard.

Foreign portfolio investors turned net buyers in the capital market on Wednesday, as they purchased equity shares worth Rs 722.08 crore, according to provisional exchange data.

Investor sentiment improved on hopes that gradual lifting of global lockdowns would help start economic recovery, they added.

Investor sentiment was buoyed by news of a possible breakthrough in testing for a treatment of COVID-19.

Top US epidemiologist Anthony Fauci said that Gilead Science's remdesivir "has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery".

Further, the US Federal Reserve signalled on Wednesday that it will keep its key short-term interest rate near zero for the foreseeable future as part of its extraordinary efforts to bolster the economy.

Bourses in Shanghai and Tokyo were trading with significant gains, while those in Hong Kong and Seoul were closed for a holiday.

On Wall Street, key indices ended with massive gains in overnight trade.

International oil benchmark Brent crude futures rallied 9.57 per cent to USD 26.55 per barrel.

Meanwhile, global tally of coronavirus infections was over 31.93 lakh, with around 2.27 lakh deaths.

The death toll due to COVID-19 in India rose to 1,074 and the number of cases climbed to 33,050 in the country, according to the Union health ministry.

Rupee spurts

The rupee surged 63 paise to 75.03 in opening trade today.

The rupee appreciated by 63 paise to 75.03 against the US dollar in early trade on Thursday tracking positive opening of domestic equities and fresh foreign fund inflows.

Forex traders said a positive start of domestic stocks supported the local unit. Moreover, investor risk appetite is improving as India could relax restrictions in many areas from 4 May.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened at 75.17, then gained ground and touched 75.03, registering a rise of 63 paise over its previous close.

On Wednesday, rupee had settled at 75.66 against the US dollar.

Global stocks rally on treatment hopes

Asian shares advanced on Thursday, riding a wave of optimism about a possible treatment for the coronavirus that set off a rally on Wall Street powerful enough to override data showing the US economy had logged its worst quarterly performance since 2009.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 surged 2.6 percent in morning trading to 20,277.56, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.3 percent to 5,461.00.

The Shanghai Composite added 1.2 percent to 2,854.85. The markets in South Korea and Hong Kong were closed for holidays.

On Wall Street, the upswell of hope about curbing the virus outbreak was so strong that investors completely sidestepped the report showing the US economy shrank at a 4.8 per cent annual rate in the first three months of the year.

The S&P 500 vaulted 2.7 per cent higher, extending a rally that's brought the US stock market to the brink of its best month in 45 years.

The spark for Wednesday's rally was a report that the experimental drug remdesivir proved effective against the new coronavirus in a study run by the National Institutes of Health.

The nation's top infectious diseases expert said the drug reduced the time it takes patients to recover, and it raised hopes that life around the world may eventually tiptoe back toward “normal.”

“With the refreshed optimism on the Covid-19 end, Asia markets can likewise be seen charging ahead into what will be the end of week for many markets in the region.” said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist for IG in Singapore.

Also boosting sentiments were some data out of China that appeared to show recovery from the economic damage over the virus outbreak may be coming gradually.

Manufacturing activity contracted at its fastest pace on record in February after Beijing shut down much of the economy to fight the virus, which emerged in December in central China.

Activity rebounded in March but forecasters warn manufacturers might face a second dip due to a possible second wave of the outbreak.

The S&P 500 rose 76.12 points to 2,939.51

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