Sensex Surges Over 1,550 Points On Stimulus Hopes, Global Cues

On Wednesday, the Sensex surged 1,861.75 points - or 6.98 per cent - to end at 28,535.78, and the Nifty settled at 8,317.85, up 516.80 points - or 6.62 per cent - from the previous close, extending gains to a second straight session.

Sensex Surges Over 1,550 Points On Stimulus Hopes, Global Cues

Banking and financial services shares fuelled the strength in the markets

Domestic stock markets soared amid volatile trade on Thursday as investors awaited a stimulus to fight the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on an already slowing economy. The S&P BSE Sensex index soared as much as 1,564.13 points to touch 30,099.91, within 90 minutes after opening with a gain of 537.93 points at 29,073.71. The broader NSE Nifty 50 climbed to as high as 8,749.05 compared to its previous close of 8,317.85. All the sectors traded in the green, with banking and financial services shares fuelling the strength in the markets. Analysts awaited the outcome of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's press conference due at 1:00 pm, and expected some volatility ahead of the expiry of monthly derivatives contracts (futures and options) due by the end of the session.

Here are 10 things to know about the rebound in markets today:

  1. At 11:54 am, the Sensex traded 1,162.60 points - or 4.07 per cent - higher at 29,698.38 while the Nifty was up 396.90 points - or 4.77 per cent - at 8,714.75. The Nifty Bank - comprising stocks of 12 major lenders in the country - was up 9.67 per cent at the time, having jumped as much as 9.88 per cent earlier.

  2. In the 50-scrip Nifty basket, 43 shares enjoyed gains at the moment. Top percentage gainers were IndusInd Bank (up 35 per cent), ICICI Bank (12.53 per cent), Axis Bank (9.99 per cent), HDFC (9.85 per cent) and Bajaj Finserv (8.38 per cent). 

  3. HDFC Bank (up 7.56 per cent), HDFC (8.30 per cent), ICICI Bank (10.04 per cent) and Axis Bank (13.92 per cent) together accounted for a gain of nearly 800 points in the Sensex.

  4. Analysts say investors are hopeful of a financial stimulus from the government. The Centre has announced that it would unveil a fiscal package soon to shield the economy from the fallout of the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic.

  5. "Markets are driven by greed and fear. The fear of coronavirus and an eventual slowdown led to correction around the globe, and India was not spared from it... Government sops on extending some timelines have also been helpful... Markets are also hoping to get some financial stimulus," Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets, told NDTV. 

  6. Market breadth was extremely positive with an advance-decline ratio of 4:1. On the BSE, 1,373 moved higher against 420 that moved lower. On the NSE, 1,326 stocks advanced while 318 declined. 

  7. Valuations have become very attractive due to the steep correction amid an overdone selloff driven by fear, Ms Gandhi said. "After addressing the Yes Bank crisis, the government also responded to the coronavirus problem by announcing a countrywide lock down, which is a bold step in the long-term interest of the country."

  8. After last-minute negotiations, the US Senate on Wednesday backed a $2-trillion bill aimed at helping unemployed workers and industries hurt by the coronavirus epidemic, as well as providing billions of dollars to buy urgently needed medical equipment. 

  9. The passage of the stimulus bill in the US brushed Asian indices slightly higher but gains were marginal and ephemeral. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.3 per cent but regional performances were patchy. The Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite soon returned to negative territory, while Japan's Nikkei index snapped three days of gains with a 3.5 per cent drop. 

  10. Global markets had lost about a quarter of their value in the last six weeks of coronavirus-driven selling.

(With inputs from Reuters)