Indian benchmarks pull ahead on hopes of stimulus package

Indian benchmarks pull ahead on hopes of stimulus package

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Domestic equity market benchmarks were trading higher, with healthy gains on hopes of a government stimulus package, while positive global cues underpinned the sentiment. 

Sensex rose 350 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 31,730 , while the wider NSE’s Nifty 50 index was ruling around 9,300-mark, with index heavyweights ICICI Bank, RIL, Kotak Mahindra Bank  and Tata Consultancy Services among the top index contributors. 

As many as 15 out of the 30 Sensex stocks were gaining.

Titan Company, Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki and Nestle India were among the index laggards. 

All the Nifty sectoral indices were trading in the green. Nifty Pharma index rose 1.46 per cent led by gains in Glenmark, Cadila Healthcare and Lupin. Similarly, Nifty Media index was up over 3,5 per cent driven by ZEEL, Network18 and PVR. 

Stocks of Titan fell 3 per cent after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to ‘sell’ while Zee Entertainment hit 10 per cent upper circuit. Kotak Mahindra Bank, up 5 per cent, was the top gainer in the Sensex pack.

Broader indices outshined the benchmarks with both the S&P BSE MidCap as well as SmallCap indexes rising over 2 per cent each.

In the earnings front, seven companies which includes Britannia, Bharti Infratel, and Hathway Cable are expected to announce their March quarter results today.

Yesterday, the Sensex had staged a sharp intra-day recovery to end with gains of 743 points, or 2.42 per cent, at 31,379.55 and the Nifty closed higher by 206 points, or 2.29 per cent, at 9,187.30 as the Facebook-Reliance Jio deal led to a 10 per cent spurt in the price of stocks of Reliance Industries.

Meanwhile, the Economic Advisory Council of the Fifteenth Finance Commission will be meeting today to take stock of the economic situation arising out of the coronavirus crisis that has led to an unprecedented lockdown, unsettling lives, halting the economy and pushing India Inc deeper into crisis even as pain on the employment front looks inevitable.

The Centre on Wednesday held another meeting of the Cabinet but the wait for a much-anticipated economic stimulus package to prevent large-scale layoffs and rebuild the economy, devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and a nation-wide lockdown, just got longer. Briefing media after the Cabinet meeting, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the economic package will be announced as and when it’s ready.

Global Markets

Asian stock markets surged today as a rebound in oil prices from historic lows and the promise of more US government aid, which would be the fourth coronavirus measure passed by Congress, and would boost the overall federal financial response to almost $3 trillion, helped calm nervous markets.

Wall Street jumped yesterday as crude prices rebounded and the US Congressional leaders and the White House agreed on nearly $500 billion more for helping small businesses ride out the Covid-19 pandemic. The Dow Jones was advanced 1.99 per cent at 23,475.82 points and Nasdaq Composite gained 2.81 per cent to 8,495.38.