Higher Asian markets helped Indian equities rebound after suffering losses in the past six sessions. The Sensex rose over 250 points while Nifty inched closer to 10,250. The gains were broad-based today with most of the sectoral indices trading in the green. Banking, metal, and healthcare stocks led the gains. ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel, HDFC, Infosys and Reliance Industries were up between 1 per cent and 2 per cent. Yes Bank, Bharti Infratel and BPCL were among the losers in Nifty50 index down between 0.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent.
Asian shares found some footing on Thursday after the White House hinted that some key trade partners could be exempted from tariffs proposed by President Donald Trump. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2 per cent, led by gains in South Korean shares, which also benefited from signs of easing tensions between the two Koreas. Japan's Nikkei gained 1 per cent.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 ended down just 0.05 per cent after an initial loss of almost one per cent, with tech shares being a major bright spot. They erased most losses as White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told a media briefing that the impending hefty US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports could exclude Canada, Mexico and a clutch of other countries.
That soothed worries that the Trump Administration could lean more towards protectionist policies after the departure of his top economic adviser Gary Cohn.
"Concerns about the U.S. tariff should ease today following the comments from the White House," said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management. "Still the issue will continue to hang over in the markets. Investors need to see exactly what steps Trump will take and what retaliatory actions other countries will take in coming days."
In other key developments today, the European Central Bank is all but certain to keep policy unchanged on Thursday but may tweak its communication stance to offer at least a few clues about its progress towards ending its unprecedented bond purchases later this year. (With Agency Inputs)