Markets close on buoyant note: Sensex zooms over 1,400 points, Nifty crosses 8,600-mark; all sectoral indices end in green

FP Staff

After announcement of Rs 1.70 lakh crore relief measure by Nirmala Sitharaman, the benchmark indices ended higher for the third consecutive session on 26 March 26.

The Nifty ended the March series above 8,600 level.

The Sensex was up 1,410.99 points or 4.94 percent at 29946.77, and the Nifty was up 323.60 points or 3.89 percent at 8641.45. About 1483 shares have advanced, 766 shares declined, and 164 shares are unchanged.

IndusInd Bank, L&T, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Auto and Hero MotoCorp were among major gainers on the Nifty, while losers were Yes Bank, GAIL, Sun Pharma, Maruti Suzuki and Adani Ports. All the sectoral indices ended in the green. BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices rose over 3 percent each.

Two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a 21-day nationwide lockdown to try to protect India's 1.3 billion people from the fast-spreading coronavirus, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced Rs 1.7 lakh crore 'PM Gareeb Kalyan' scheme to cushion the impact of the lockdown in wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

After the announcement, Sensex was trading over 1,000 points higher in afternoon session on Wednesday.

Paring early gains, the 30-share BSE barometer was up 1,055.11 points or 3.70 per cent at 29,590.89. It rallied over 1,500 points in morning session.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty stood 284.20 points, or 3.42 per cent, higher at 8,602.05 at 1430 hours.

IndusInd Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying up to 34 per cent, followed by Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, L&T, Bajaj Finance and HDFC.

On the other hand, Maruti, Reliance Industries, NTPC and Sun Pharma were among the top laggards.

In an effort to cushion the economic blow of the 21-day lockdown to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, Finance Minister Sitharaman announced a slew of measures to help the citizens survive the crisis.

The Rs 1.70 lakh crore economic package will be implemented with immediate effect.

The Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan scheme includes distribution of 5 kg of wheat or rice and one kg of preferred pulses free-of-cost every month over the next three months to 80 crore poor across the country and Rs 500 per month for next three months to as many of 20.5 crore women Jan Dhan Account holders, PTI said.

The government will front-load Rs 2,000 paid to farmers in first week of April under existing PM Kisan Yojana to benefit 8.69 crore farmers.

The Finance Minister also said a Rs 50 lakh insurance cover will be given to healthcare workers who are at the forefront of dealing with the pandemic.

The Indian rupee appreciated further by 84 paise to 75.10 against the US dollar in intra-day trade after the announcement.

The number of COVID-19 cases climbed to 649 in India and the death toll rose to 13, with one death reported each from Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, according to the Health Ministry.

Asian stocks up after US announces stimulus package

Asian markets mostly rose Thursday as investors breathed a sigh of relief that US senators have finally passed a gargantuan stimulus package for the world's top economy after being delayed by wrangling over details, Reuters said.

The unprecedented $2 trillion plan -- described by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a "wartime level of investment" -- helped spur a surge across global equities as panicked traders worried about the impact of the coronavirus sweeping the planet.

But another advance on Wall Street was blunted Wednesday as it emerged that four Republican senators have baulked at the generous provisions agreed to in the bipartisan deal with the White House.

The bill eventually cleared the Senate by an overwhelming majority and will now head to the House of Representatives before going to President Donald Trump for his signature.


--With inputs from agencies

Also See: Indices up 1%: Sensex rises over 500 points, Nifty above 8,800-mark after RBI governor announces repo rate cut by 75 bps

Stock market buoyant: Sensex surges over 1,600 points, Nifty reclaims 8,200-level; Axis Bank top gainer

Sensex, Nifty rebound; govt measures to aid coronavirus-hit economy, lend much-needed boost to markets

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