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Stimulus hope breaks stock stupor

On the BSE, the Sensex soared 1861.75 points, or 6.98 per cent, to end at 28535.78
The broader Nifty gained 516.80 points, or 6.62 per cent, to settle at 8317.85.

Our Special Correspondent   |   Mumbai   |   Published 25.03.20, 07:58 PM

Benchmark indices on Wednesday posted their best single-day gain in almost 11 years as they joined a global rally amid expectations of a rescue package back home over the next few days.

The dramatic recovery in the Indian stocks came a day after the country was put under lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

On the BSE, the Sensex soared 1861.75 points, or 6.98 per cent, to end at 28535.78. The broader Nifty gained 516.80 points, or 6.62 per cent, to settle at 8317.85. Domestic stocks received a strong tailwind on positive global cues as the US Senate and White House reached an agreement on a $2-trillion stimulus package for the US economy.

While concerns of a global recession in the wake of the spread of coronavirus have been dogging stock markets over the past few weeks, the development in the US has soothed some concerns over its impact on the American economy. Back in India, expectations have risen that the government will come out with a large stimulus package and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will go for an aggressive rate cut to help the domestic economy.

Reliance Industries, which has been beaten down in the recent bear run, was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying 14.65 per cent to Rs 1,081.25. It was followed by Kotak Bank, Maruti, the HDFC twins, Titan, L&T and Axis Bank. However, 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.

“The Indian markets opened positive tracking global positive cues that the White House and Senate reached a deal on a gigantic $2-trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to mitigate the economic hit from the pandemic and receding uncertainty in the domestic markets following the assurance of a stimulus by the finance minister. In terms of quality and sustainability, the rally was supported by strength across the markets, including large frontline and mid-small cap stocks, ahead of expiry on Thursday which also played its part in terms of short covering which added further fuel to the rally,” said Narendra Solanki, head- equity research (fundamental), Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul rallied up to 8 per cent, while the benchmarks in Europe were also trading higher by up to 4 per cent. Market circles added that while equity prices will continue to be driven by news around the coronavirus outbreak, for the immediate term, the markets will be focussing on the relief package that will be announced by the Indian government.

“Today’s sharp uptick shows that any sense of stability can lead to a sudden turnaround in the direction of markets. Hence, it is important to accumulate quality stocks in a staggered manner and take advantage of the volatility.” said Gaurav Dua, senior vice-president and head of capital market strategy & investments, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas.

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