After weak opening, Sensex rallies over 200 points while Nifty settles near 9,000-mark

After weak opening, Sensex rallies over 200 points while Nifty settles near 9,000-mark

Domestic equity indices Sensex and Nifty closed on a bullish note today, buoyed by gains in European and Asian markets.

After swinging 784 points intra-day, the 30-share Sensex settled 222.80 points or 0.73 per cent higher at 30,602.61.

Similarly, the 50-share Nifty ended 67.50 points, or 0.76 per cent, up at 8,992.80.

Gains in the benchmarks were led by finance, energy and power stocks.

Weak opening

Market benchmark Sensex opened on a weak note today after multiple agencies projected a flat-to-negative growth in GDP for 2020.

At 9.22 am, Sensex shed 349 points or 1.15 per cent to 30,030 while Nifty was down 84 points or 0.95 per cent to 8,840. Broader market indices Nifty Smallcap slipped 0.12 per cent while Nifty Midcap dropped 0.78 per cent. Nifty 500 dipped 0.97 per cent.

Online brokerage firms say markets will be volatile until investors can see more clearly when countries might be able to stop the outbreak.

India VIX dropped 7 per cent to 46.1, the lowest in more than a month.

Top gainers and losers

Sectorally, apart from FMCG and IT, all indices ended in positive territory. Banking, metal and pharma indices saw buying in today’s session while auto indices made a smart rebound in today’s session.

UPL ltd, Hindustan Unilever, Britannia, ICICI Bank and NTPC were among the top performers on Nifty, while Tech Mahindra, HCL Tech, Kotak Bank, Hero MotoCorp and Infosys were among the big losers today.

With the start of earnings season,  the IT sector remained dull during the day as commentary from Wipro failed to provide future clarity on the impact of the virus while participants eyed Tata Consultancy Services results later in the day, 

Shares of TCS dropped 2.52 per cent to Rs 1,690 ahead of its quarterly results.

Rupee hits fresh low

The Indian currency tanked 43 paise to settle at a fresh all-time low of 76.87 (provisional) against the US dollar.

Global markets

In Asia, growth will come to a halt for the first time in 60 years in 2020, the International Monetary Fund said, in a stark warning, on Thursday, as exporters are pounded by falling demand and lockdown measures force consumers to stay home and shops to shut down.

The announcements rattled investors who economists have cautioned are a bit too hopeful about a quick recovery from what is shaping up to be the deepest global slump since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.3 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Sang Index  dipped 0.5 per cent,  while the Shanghai Composite was among the few winners in Asia, posting a 0.3 per cent gain.

European markets opened on a positive note, rebounding from a drubbing on Wednesday. The FTSE 100 gained 0.7 per cent in London, while France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX added 1.2 per cent. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday said the country would gradually ease some lockdown measures on business starting next week, and Volkswagen announced a phased reopening of its European plants.

US to roll back social distancing measures

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has been having discussions on how to roll back federal social distancing measures. US governors are also discussing plans to reopen their economies in what is likely to be a gradual process to prevent the coronavirus from rebounding.

The death toll due to the virus surged to 414, while the number of cases in India climbed to 12,380.

Global tally of the infections has crossed 2 million, with over 1.37 lakh deaths.