Sensex, Nifty log best day in over 10 years; investors eye stimulus package

Mumbai, Mar 25 (PTI) Indian stock benchmarks Sensex and Nifty posted their best single-day rise in over a decade on Wednesday, mirroring buoyancy in global markets and anticipating a stimulus package by the government to tide over the financial turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The BSE gauge Sensex shot up 1,861.75 points or 6.98 per cent to settle at 28,535.78, and the NSE barometer Nifty spurted 516.80 points or 6.62 per cent to end at 8,317.85 – the biggest single-day gain for the indices.

Domestic market was enthused by recovery in global stocks after the US Senate and White House reached agreement on a USD 2 trillion stimulus package for the US economy.

Reliance Industries was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying up to 15 per cent, followed by Kotak Bank, Maruti, HDFC twins, Titan, L&T and Axis Bank.

On the other hand, IndusInd Bank, ONGC, ITC and Bajaj Auto closed with losses.

All sectoral indices on the BSE ended in the green with energy, finance, bankex, auto, basic materials and oil and gas indices rallying up to 10 per cent.

Broader midcap and smallcap indices surged up to 3.53 per cent.

Experts are of the view that markets took confidence from the 21-day lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the move somewhat removes the uncertainty and showed that the government is willing to take hard steps to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Receding uncertainty in domestic markets following defined lockdown announcement and assurance of domestic stimulus by the government boosted investor sentiment, said Narendra Solanki, Head- Equity Research (Fundamental), Anand Rathi.

“The rally was supported by strength across the markets including large frontline and mid-small cap stocks ahead of expiry tomorrow (Thursday) which also played its part in terms of short-covering which added further fuel to the rally,” he added.

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the government will soon announce a fiscal package to help the economy come out of the coronavirus shock.

In a boost for the global market sentiment, the US Senate and White House reached an agreement on a USD 2 trillion stimulus package for the American economy.

The deal aims to buttress the teetering economy by giving roughly USD 2 trillion to health facilities, businesses and ordinary Americans buckling under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul rallied up to 8 per cent.

Benchmarks in Europe were also trading up to 4 per cent higher.

International oil benchmark, Brent crude futures rose 0.07 per cent to USD 27.17 per barrel.

The domestic currency market was closed on account of Gudi Padwa.

India will be in a 21-day national lockdown as Prime Minister Modi announced this unprecedented measure as the only way out to break the coronavirus transmission chain.

According to the latest Union Health ministry update the number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 562, while the death toll due to this viral infection was revised down to nine from 10 after the second death in Delhi turned out to be negative.

The number of global Covid-19 infections has shot past 4,20,000. Worldwide fatalities have topped 18,000. PTI ANS MKJ