Sensex, Nifty Jump Over 1%; IT, Pharma, Auto Stocks Lead Gains

Moody's Investors Service on Monday downgraded India's credit rating to "Baa3" from "Baa2", a notch above junk.

Sensex, Nifty Jump Over 1%; IT, Pharma, Auto Stocks Lead Gains

Domestic stock markets rose more than 1 per cent on Tuesday amid gains in Asian equities, and were set to close higher for the fifth session in a row. The S&P BSE Sensex index climbed up 1.12 per cent - or 372.41 points - to touch 33,675.93 at the strongest level during the session, having started the day up 146.67 points at 33,450.19. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark rose to as high as 9,935.55, after starting the session higher at 9,880.85 compared to its previous close of 9,826.15. Gains across most sectors - led by automobile, IT and pharmaceutical shares - pushed the markets higher, however losses in metal shares limited the upside.

At 12:05 pm, the Sensex traded 305.16 points - or 0.92 per cent - higher at 33,608.68, while the Nifty was up 72.55 points - or 0.74 per cent - 9,898.70.

In the 50-scrip Nifty basket, 40 shares moved higher at the time. Top percentage gainers were Zee Entertainment, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv and Sun Pharma, trading between 2.91 per cent and 6.24 per cent higher. 

On the other hand, Coal India, Maruti Suzuki, Indian Oil and ONGC - down between 1.01 per cent and 3.23 per cent - were among the top Nifty losers.

Market breadth favoured gains, with an advance-decline ratio of 2:1, as 1,494 stocks rose on the BSE against 663 that fell. On the NSE, 1,281 shares advanced while 434 declined.

Equities elsewhere in Asia eked out gains despite weakness in Wall Street overnight. MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 0.36 per cent higher in early trade.

Japan's Nikkei 225, Hong Kong's Hang Seng and South Korea's KOSPI indices were up 0.84 per cent, 0.34 per cent and 0.50 per cent respectively at the time, but China's Shanghai Composite barometer was flat.

The E-Mini S&P 500 futures moved 0.50 per cent lower, indicating a negative start for US markets on Tuesday, as US President Donald Trump vowed to use force to end violent protests in American cities, souring a previously upbeat market mood.

Meanwhile, India is in the fifth phase of a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected economic activity and hampered businesses forcing them to trim workforce.

Moody's Investors Service downgraded the country's credit rating to "Baa3" from "Baa2", a notch above junk, on Monday citing a prolonged period of slow growth in Asia's third largest economy, rising debt and persistent stress in parts of its financial system.

The cut is not driven directly by the impact of the coronavirus but that the pandemic had amplified vulnerabilities in the country's credit profile that were present and building prior to the shock, Moody's said.

The agency maintained a negative outlook for the new sovereign rating, citing worsening government finances as the coronavirus continues to hurt the economy.

On Monday, the Sensex had ended 879.42 points - or 2.71 per cent - higher at 33,303.52, and the Nifty settled at 9,826.15, up 245.85 points - or 2.57 per cent - from its previous close.