Sensex rallies 1000 pts, Nifty reclaims 9,800 on coronavirus drug, stimulus hopes

Sensex rallies 1000 pts, Nifty reclaims 9,800 on coronavirus drug, stimulus hopes

Extending the gains into the fourth straight day, the S&P BSE Sensex closed above 33,000, while the NSE Nifty50 reclaimed 9,800 levels on the final day of the month, supported by robust buying in auto, metal and technology stocks, amid positive developments overnight on a potential new treatment for Covid-19 as well as stimulus hopes back home to help mitigate the damage from the coronvirus pandemic. 

Investor sentiment was lifted by Gilead Sciences Inc.’s announcement that hospitalised patients infected with the novel coronavirus saw improvement under a five-day treatment course with its antiviral remdesivir in a US clinical trial.

Markets have been excited by the prospect of a coronavirus treatment because it may help economies emerge from shutdowns.

On the April F&O expiry day, the Sensex closed 3 per cent or 997 points higher at 33,717 while the Nifty50 settled 3.2 per cent higher or 306 points at 9,859. The Sensex is up about 31 per cent from March 24 lows of of 25,638.

Among the Sensex stocks, ONGC today rallied 13 per cent, HCL Tech 10 per cent, Hero MotoCorp 10 per cent, TCS 6 per cent, Infosys 6 per cent and Tata Steel 6 per cent.

Nifty Bank surged over 2 percent supported by gains in Bandhan Bank, Federal Bank, RBL Bank, ICICI Bank, and Axis Bank.

Wisdom Capital analysts observe that what’s really pushing markets at this point is any positive news of potential treatments and vaccines for COVID-19  because ultimately that is a game changer, along with anything about the lockdowns being lifted.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said the government will be issuing new guidelines to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and that the same will come into effect from May 4, a day after the second phase of the national lockdown ends.

This could possibly mean that the Centre is looking at relaxing some of the restrictions.

The Indian rupee closed today’s trading session stronger at 75.12 per dollar as compared to its previous close of 75.68 per US dollar.

Markets will remain closed on Friday on account of Maharashtra Day.

Asian stocks soared to a seven-week high today, tracking positive developments overnight on a potential new treatment for Covid-19, ahead of a European Central Bank meeting later in the day. 

A 1.4 per cent rise in MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, outside Japan, has it tracking toward a weekly gain of more than 5 per cent, its best in three weeks.

Japan’s Nikkei,  returning from a holiday yesterday, surged 2.8 per cent to a seven-week high and Australia’s ASX 200 jumped 2.7 per cent, with the mood further supported by South Korea reporting no new domestic COVID-19 cases for the first time since its February 29 peak.

Markets in Hong Kong and South Korea were closed on account of public holidays.

The Shanghai Composite added 1 per cent, while the  Australian  benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 129.00 points or 2.39 percent at 5,522.40,

Brent crude and US crude futures each soared more than 6 per cent amid hopes of early recovery in fuel demand.

Gold was steady at US$1,711.31 per ounce.