Domestic equity markets rose more than 3 per cent on Friday as bank stocks rallied after the Reserve Bank of India cut a key interest rate to ease financial stress stemming from the world's biggest nationwide lockdown. The S&P BSE Sensex index soared as much as 1,116.12 points to touch 31,718.73 during the session, and the broader NSE Nifty benchmark rose to 9,324.00, up 331.2 points from the previous close, before giving up some of those gains.
The central bank cut its reverse repo rate by 25 basis points (bps) in a bid to push banks to lend more, just two weeks after its dramatic 90-bps cut.
Already reeling from a slowdown in economic growth, the government earlier this week extended its lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus that has shuttered thousands of businesses and sparked wild swings in financial markets.
The virus has infected over 13,300 in the country and 437 have died, according to government data.
Some analysts said markets were pricing in the possibility of a staggered relaxation of the nationwide lockdown post April 20.
The Nifty closed 3.05 per cent higher at 9,266.75, while the Sensex rose 3.22 per cent to 31,588.60. Both the indices finished the holiday-shortened week more than 1 per cent higher.
A rise in equities across the globe as US outlined plans to gradually reopen its coronavirus-hit economy also aided the domestic investor sentiment.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 2.6 per cent after the US joined a handful of other governments to issue guidelines to re-start their economies.
ICICI Bank rose 9.7 per cent and was the biggest boost to the indexes, while peer Axis Bank rose 14 per cent.
The Nifty banking index added 6.6 per cent, while the financials index closed 5.46 per cent higher.
But FMCG stocks took a beating, with the Nifty FMCG index slipping 1.05 per cent.