Sensex Posts Biggest Gain In 2 Weeks; All Eyes On Economic Package Details

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will address media at 4 pm to share details of the economic package.

Sensex Posts Biggest Gain In 2 Weeks; All Eyes On Economic Package Details

HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and HDFC were the top contributors to the gain in Sensex

Domestic stock markets traded more than 2 per cent higher on Wednesday afternoon, having given up more than half of intraday gains, ahead of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's address to the media to share details of the Rs 20 lakh-crore economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi the previous day. PM Modi, in his address to the nation late on Tuesday, announced fiscal and monetary boost worth Rs 20 lakh crore to support an economy battered by the ongoing nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The S&P BSE Sensex index had soared as much as 4.70 per cent - or 1,474.36 points to touch 32,845.48 in early trade, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark had climbed to as high as 9,584.50 compared to its previous close of 9,196.55.

Here are 10 things to know about the markets today:

  1. The markets, however, gave up more than half of those gains by the end of the day. The Sensex closed with a gain of 637.49 points - or 2.03 per cent - at 32,008.61 - its biggest gain in almost two weeks, and the Nifty shut shop at 9,383.55, up 187.00 points (2.03 per cent) from the previous close. 

  2. In the Nifty basket of 50 components, 43 stocks ended higher. Top percentage gainers were Zee Entertainment, Axis Bank, UltraTech Cement, Larsen & Toubro, Adani Ports and ICICI Bank, ending between 4.98 per cent and 7.71 per cent higher

  3. HDFC Bank (closing up 2.92 per cent), ICICI Bank (5.04 per cent) and Reliance Industries (2.01 per cent) together contributed nearly 300 points to the gain in Sensex.

  4. On Tuesday, the Prime Minister said the package was equivalent to 10 per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), and was aimed at the multitudes out of work and businesses reeling under the prolonged shutdown. Details of the new package, and reforms of land and labour markets, will be announced by the Finance Minister within days, PM Modi added. 

  5. In March, the government had announced around Rs 1.7 lakh crore in direct cash transfers and food security measures for the poor. PM Modi also said strict stay-at-home orders will be extended beyond May 17 with a new set of rules.

  6. Analysts eagerly awaited Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's media briefing at 4:00 pm for the fine print of the government's economic package.

  7. "Details of the economic package announced by the government are yet to be seen... People want to see the details," AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital, told NDTV, adding "The futures jumped sharply on Tuesday as the announcement came about... It is a classic case of 'buy on rumour and sell on news'."

  8. Equities elsewhere in Asia traded mixed, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan rising 0.39 per cent. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.49 per cent Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.27 per cent, while China's Shanghai Composite barometer moved up 0.22 cent.

  9. European markets started the day with sharp losses, with the United Kingdom's FTSE benchmark index down 0.94 per cent in early trade. France's CAC and Germany's DAX indices were down 1.83 per cent and 1.57 per cent at the time respectively.

  10. Overnight in the US, the S&P 500 benchmark index shed 2.05 per cent, whereas the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite indices fell 1.89 per cent and 2.06 per cent respectively. The E-Mini S&P 500 futures were last seen down 0.10 per cent in morning, indicating a weak start for Wall Street on Wednesday.

(With inputs from agencies)