Equity benchmarks surge to near 7-week high on stimulus hopes

Sensex jumps 371 pts, Nifty tops 9,300 as financial stocks soar
A man ties a balloon to the horns of a bull statue at the entrance of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) while celebrating the Sensex index rising to over 30,000, in Mumbai, India April 26, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File Photo

Mumbai: Indian equities remained on the front foot for the second consecutive session on Tuesday, with benchmarks settling at a near seven-week high amid hopes of more stimulus measures to cushion the coronavirus-induced economic shock.

The BSE gauge Sensex closed above the psychological 32,000-mark after more than six weeks. The index settled 371.44 points or 1.17 per cent higher at 32,114.52. It hit an intra-day high of 32,199.91 and a low of 31,661.34.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty advanced 98.60 points, or 1.06 per cent, to close at 9,380.90 its highest closing level since March 13.

Financial stocks led the rally on the Sensex for the second straight session on Tuesday, buoyed by RBI's Rs 50,000-crore special liquidity support to the mutual fund industry.

On the Sensex chart, IndusInd Bank was the top gainer, rallying over 15 per cent, followed by Bajaj Finance, HDFC, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank.

On the other hand, Sun Pharma, NTPC, Nestle India, HCL Tech and Bharti Airtel were among the prominent losers.

Sector-wise, BSE finance, bankex, consumer durables, oil and gas, realty and auto indices rallied up to 3.53 per cent; while healthcare, telecom, FMCG and power indices fell up to 1.65 per cent.

In the broader market, midcap and smallcap indices rose up to 0.80 per cent.

Other than hopes of another stimulus by the government, positive cues from the global arena about easing coronavirus-induced curbs also enthused investors in the domestic market.

"Benchmark indices ended positive tracking global markets, led by financials. Hopes of a fiscal stimulus have given support to the markets. Stock specific news reactions are happening based on the results and management commentary," Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said.

He further said that the sustainability of this rally depends on the easing of lockdown measures and the steps to get businesses back on track.

Asian shares were mixed Tuesday as governments inch toward letting businesses reopen and central banks step in to provide cash to economies. European stocks advanced on data showing slowing growth in the deadly virus that has closed the global economy and on strong earnings reports that outweighed a slump in oil prices.

International oil benchmark Brent crude futures advanced 1.95 per cent to $23.52 per barrel.

On the currency front, the rupee rose by 7 paise to close at 76.18 against the US dollar.

Meanwhile, global tally of coronavirus infections has crossed 30 lakh, with over 2.11 lakh deaths.

Death toll from COVID-19 in India rose to 934, while total number of cases climbed to 29,435, as per health ministry data.

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