Markets lean bullish on financials; IndusInd Bank jumps 17%

Markets lean bullish on financials; IndusInd Bank jumps 17%

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Led by advances in banking and financial stocks, Indian benchmark indices posted strong gains for the second straight day, as the nation remained in an extended lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Dalal Street, stocks closed sharply higher, with the S&P BSE Sensex index surging as much as 371 points or 1.17 per cent to 32,114 , having started the choppy session up 358.83 points at 32,101.91.  Sensex is now up 25 per cent from March 24 lows of 25,638

The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark jumped to as high as 9,380 after starting the session at 9,389.80, compared with its earlier close of 9,282.30.

The banking index Nifty Bank climbed nearly 3 per cent today to 20,671.

Among banking and financial stocks, IndusInd Bank jumped 17 per cent, Bajaj Finance 9 per cent, HDFC 8 per cent while Axis Bank and ICICI Bank were up nearly 7 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively. Some profit-taking was witnessed in pharma and select FMCG stocks.

The worst-performing stocks  were Sun Pharma, NTPC, Nestle India, HCL Tech and Bajaj Auto.

Meanwhile, gold price was down for the third consecutive day on moves to ease coronavirus lockdown measures driving investors towards riskier assets. Spot gold traded 0.7 per cent to $1,702.09 per ounce while US gold futures shrank 0.3 per cent to $1,719.20 per ounce.

The Indian rupee was trading at day’s high, rising to 76.22, after declining 15 paise lower at 76.40 per dollar in early trade today

Asian and European stock markets mostly rallied today as many countries planned to ease lockdown restrictions after weeks of volatility caused by the pandemic. However, US oil prices fell once again to approach $10 per barrel.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell just below the waterline, closing down 0.06 per cent at 19,771.19, while the broader Topix index managed to hold onto gains by the end of trading in Tokyo, rising 0.13 per cent to close at 1,449.15.

The Shanghai Composite was down 0.19 per cent at 2,810.02, while the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite lost 0.32 per cent to 1,732.56.

South Korea‚Äôs Kospi advanced 0.59 per cent at 1,934.09, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong was ahead 1.22 per cent at 24,576.96.

Banking major HSBC ended the day up 1.14 per cent in Hong Kong after it reported a 48 per cent year-on-year decline in pre-tax profits for the first quarter – much worse than the 35.7 per cent fall predicted by analysts at Morgan Stanley.

Crude prices fell again on Tuesday amid concern about dwindling capacity to store oil worldwide, heightened by fears that fuel demand may be slow to pick up once countries ease restrictioms imposed on business and social life to combat the pandemic.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell to as little as $10.64 a barrel today. WTI had plunged 25 per cent on Monday.

Brent crude futures declined to a low of $18.85 and were last down 4.3 per cent, or 85 cents, at $19.14 a barrel. The benchmark fell 6.8 per cent on Monday, and the contract for June delivery expires on Thursday.