The benchmark indices have cooled off after surging more than 1 per cent at opening bell. The BSE Sensex had risen as much as 415.29 points to touch 41,309.67 in the initial minutes of trade due to the emergence of value buying after four successive days of losses. The Sensex surrendered more than 150 points thereafter and as of 12:00 pm, was quoting at 41,180, higher by 285 points or 0.7 per cent and the Nifty was at 12,086, up 90 points or 0.7 per cent.
The broader markets were outperforming the benchmark indices, with the BSE Midcap index gaining 0.9 per cent at 15,563 and smallcap index adding 1.1 per cent at 14,635. All the BSE sectoral indices were trading in the green, with the exception of the auto index.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will have a high-level meeting with PMO officials this afternoon to chart out the government's response to the rampaging novel coronavirus that has taken more than 2000 lives and infected around 75,000 people till date, and is threatening to derail world trade and economic growth. Ms Sitharaman had met industry representatives on Tuesday to take stock of the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the economy.
On the corporate front, Reliance Industries' talks to sell a minority stake in its oil-to-chemical division to Saudi Aramco have been gathering pace in recent weeks, reports suggest. Reliance Industries is reportedly keen to sign a binding agreement before the next annual shareholders meeting, due before the end of September.
NSE has announced exclusion of Yes Bank and inclusion of Shree Cement in the Nifty-50 index with effect from March 27 this year. Yes Bank extended its recent losses by another 2 per cent to Rs 34 in wake of the announcement. Shree Cements share price gained nearly 3 per cent to Rs 24,502 ahead of its inclusion in the Nifty benchmark.
The stock of index bell-weather Reliance Industries soared by 2.3 per cent to Rs 1,500 post the developments surrounding Saudi Aramco. FMCG counters were going strong, with Hindustan Unilever and ITC adding more than 1 per cent each. Select pharma stocks were also in good health this afternoon. Aurobindo Pharma zoomed more than 17 per cent to Rs 589 on the BSE, while Wockhardt Pharma, Jubilant Pharma and Ipca Lab gained around 6 per cent each.
On the other hand, IndusInd Bank and Maruti Suzuki bucked the trend to lose around 1 per cent each.
On Tuesday, the Sensex had declined 161.31 points - or 0.39 per cent - to end at 40,894.38 and the Nifty settled at 11,992.50, down 53.30 points - or 0.44 per cent - from the previous close - both lowest closing levels recorded since February 4.