The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes staged a strong recovery in last hour of trade to end higher. The benchmark indices staged a gap-down opening after US markets tumbled more than 5 per cent, posting their worst day since mid-March, when markets were sent into a free-fall by the abrupt economic lockdowns put in place to contain the pandemic. The Sensex swung in range of 1,508 points while the Nifty 50 index touched an intrday low of 9,544.35 and high of 9,996.05.
The Sensex ended 242 points or 0.72 per cent higher at 33,780.89 and the Nifty 50 index climbed 71 points or 0.72 per cent to close at 9,972.90.
Recovery in today's session was led by buying interest in Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Finance, Bharti Airtel and ICICI Bank. Strong gains in European markets also helped benchmarks close higher. Germany's DAX, England's FTSE 100 and France's CAC40 indexes rose between 1.4-2.4 per cent each.
Back home, nine of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended higher led by Nifty Auto index's 3 per cent gain. Nifty Bank, Private Bank, Financial Services, Energy and PSU Bank indexes also rose between 0.6-1 per cent each.
On the other hand, Nifty IT index fell 1.5 per cent as IT shares came under selling pressure after a report suggested that US President Donald Trump is considering suspending a number of employment visas including the H-1B, most sought-after among Indian IT professionals, in view of the massive unemployment in America due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mahindra & Mahindra was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 7.6 per cent to close at Rs 510 after it reported standalone loss of Rs 2,502 crore in March quarter against profit of Rs 849 crore during the same quarter last year. The surprise loss came on account of and exceptional item of Rs 2,780.47 crore which the company recognised as loss arising out of COVID-19-induced lockdowns.
Bharti Infratel, Shree Cements, Bajaj Finance, Hero MotoCorp, Reliance Industries, Bajaj Auto and Titan were also among the gainers.
On the flipside, Zee Entertainment, ONGC, Tech Mahindra, Power Grid, Wipro, Coal India and Infosys were among the losers.