Stocks begin new fiscal on a high, Sensex reclaims 50K level

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Mumbai, Apr 1 (PTI) Indian equities started the new fiscal on a strong note on Thursday, with the BSE Sensex surging over 520 points to settle above the 50,000-level on across-the-board buying by participants amid positive global cues.

At the closing bell, the 30-share BSE index quoted 520.68 points or 1.05 per cent higher at 50,029.83, driven by gains in banking, IT and energy stocks. Of the Sensex stocks, 25 closed in the green.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty rose 176.65 points or 1.2 per cent to settle at 14,867.35.

IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank, ICICI Bank, Sun Pharma, Bajaj Finance and Ultratech Cement were prominent gainers. State-run SBI rose 1.7 per cent amid a rally in public sector banks. On the other hand, HUL, Nestle, HDFC Bank, TCS, Titan and Tech Mahindra suffered losses.

'Domestic equities shrugged-off COVID-19 spikes on favourable global cues and recovered sharply mainly led by strong buying in financials and automobile stocks. Strong monthly volume for March helped auto stocks attract investors’ interest,” Binod Modi, Head - Strategy at Reliance Securities, said.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.6 per cent lower at USD 63.95 per barrel.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses clocked gains as the announcement of US infrastructure stimulus plan boosted investor sentiment globally.

'Markets across the globe were boosted by (US President) Biden’s USD 2.3 trillion spending plan. The rally in the domestic market was led by positive cues from global peers, strong buying in metal stocks and recovery in the banking sector. Metal stocks outshined other sectoral indices on reports of possible price hike,' Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Servicessaid.

Among sectoral indices, BSE metal rose by 5.41 per cent, followed by basic materials, utilities, power and telecom. Barring consumer durable, all the 18 sectoral indices closed in the green.

PSU banks were also in focus as the government announced capital infusion of Rs 14,500 crore in four PSBs.Indian Overseas Bank jumped 10 per cent, Bank of India surged 6.55 per cent, Central Bank of India gained 4.89 per cent and UCO Bank rose 4.64 per cent on the BSE.

The government has infused Rs 14,500 crore, mainly into banks that are under the RBI's prompt corrective action framework to improve their financial health.

S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities said, 'Markets were buoyant today on the back of the American jobs plan and the huge federal spend ignited metal stocks today. Afternoon Trade saw strong investor interest in banks, metals & tyres as record GST collections for March perked up sentiments despite a long weekend as India rolled out a larger vaccine program today.' Stock markets will be closed on Friday for a holiday. PTI MKJ MR