Sensex surges over 1,600 pts; Nifty reclaims 8,200 level

NEW DELHI: Equity benchmark Sensex rallied over 1,600 points in afternoon session on Wednesday led by gains in index heavyweights Reliance Industries, HDFC twins, ICICI Bank and Kotak Bank as government took drastic measures to combat Covid-19 outbreak.

Asian peers were also trading higher as authorities world over stepped up efforts to fight the pandemic.

After rallying 1,657 points, the BSE barometer was trading 1,573.02 points or 5.90 per cent higher at 28,247.05.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty was trading 444.30 points, or 5.70 per cent, up at 8,245.35.

Axis Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying up to 15 per cent, followed by Reliance Industries, Kotak Bank, ICICI Bank, Maruti, UltraTech Cement, HDFC twins and Bharti Airtel. On the other hand, ITC, ONGC and L&T were the laggards.

According to traders, in a highly volatile market, investors are weighing the economic impact of the 21-day lockdown announced last night.

In an unprecedented drastic measure to curb the spread of coronavirus, Modi said the lockdown will be in force from Tuesday midnight, as he announced a central allocation of Rs 15,000 crore to strengthen the health infrastructure to tackle the disease.

According to V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services, enforcement of the 21-day lockdown of the nation will be a major challenge.

Ensuring supplies to all households is not going to be easy, but has to be done. The temporary shock to the economy will be huge, he said.

Market is now awaiting a stimulus package for the financial task force, headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, traders said.

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

Stocks on Wall Street rallied up to 11 per cent in overnight trade.

Global oil benchmark, Brent crude futures rose 1.62 per cent to USD 27.59 per barrel.

As per 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.

 

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PTI