Sensex ends 199 pts higher; Reliance Industries rallies over 3 pc

Mumbai, May 8 (PTI) Equity benchmark Sensex ended 199 points higher on Friday, propelled by strong gains in index-heavyweight Reliance Industries and positive cues from global markets.

After rallying 645.13 points during the day, the 30-share index surrendered most gains to settle 199.32 points or 0.63 per cent higher at 31,642.70.

Similarly, NSE Nifty rose 52.45 points, or 0.57 per cent, to finish at 9,251.50.

Hindustan Unilever was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying over 4 per cent, followed by Nestle India, Tech Mahindra and Sun Pharma.

Reliance Industries was the biggest contributor to the gains on the index, jumping over 3 per cent after the company announced that US-based private equity firm Vista Equity Partners will buy 2.32 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 11,367 crore.

On the other hand, NTPC, M&M, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank were among the laggards.

According to traders, besides stock-specific action, firm cues from global markets and strong foreign fund inflows enthused buying activity in the domestic market.

Foreign portfolio investors purchased equities worth a net Rs 19,056.49 crore in the capital market in the previous session, provisional exchange data showed.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended with substantial gains as moves to ease lockdown measures and reopen economies around the world fuelled positive investor sentiment.

Top stock exchanges in Europe were also trading on a positive note in their opening sessions.

Globally, the number of cases linked to the disease has crossed 38.46 lakh and the death toll has topped 2.69 lakh.

In India, the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 1,886 and the number of cases climbed to 56,342, according to the health ministry.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude futures climbed 1.73 per cent to USD 29.97 per barrel.

On the currency front, the rupee appreciated 18 paise to provisionally settle at 75.54 against the US dollar. PTI ANS HDA