Domestic share markets extended gains to a third day in a row on Tuesday, led by gains in heavyweights HDFC Bank and HCL Technologies. The S&P BSE Sensex index jumped 300.41 points - or 0.74 per cent - to touch 40,732.01 at the strongest level during the session following a flat start. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark climbed to as high as 11,949.25, up 76.2 points - or 0.64 per cent - from its previous close. Buying interest in IT and select automobile stocks supported the markets, however selling pressure in metal, consumer goods and PSU banks limited the upside.
The Sensex ended 112.77 points - or 0.28 per cent - higher at 40,544.37, and the Nifty settled at 11,896.80, up 23.75 points - or 0.20 per cent - from its previous close.
HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra, Asian Paints, Bharti Airtel and HDFC Bank, closing between 1.75 per cent and 4.29 per cent higher, were the top gainers in the Nifty basket of 50 shares.
On the other hand, Britannia, ONGC, GAIL, Indian Oil and UPL, closing 1.84-5.82 per cent lower each, were the worst hit among 24 laggards in the index.
A slowdown in daily coronavirus cases fuelling hopes that the government will further ease restrictions is driving market optimism, say analysts.
"Most important is the fall in death rate and its implication in the future. This has provided a hope that the economy can be opened, in the future, as and when cases stabilize and it will have a robust effect given the stimulus provided," Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services, told NDTV.
COVID-19 cases in India are decreasing after a peak in mid-September, with the world's second-worst affected country reporting a near three-month low of 46,790 new infections in the last 24 hours.
"At the same time, along with the drop in mortality, the strength of domestic markets is supported by the good Q2 results announced till date and expectations of further fiscal package in the near future," Mr Nair added.
HDFC Bank shares rose after credit ratings major S&P said the lender's asset quality will remain superior to the industry over the next two years despite likely deterioration from the pandemic.
Britannia Industries ended at a more than three--month low, after the fast-moving consumer goods company's revenue in the July-September period missed analysts' estimates.
(With inputs from agencies)