The Indian equity benchmarks advanced on Wednesday after closing at their lowest in more than a week in the previous session after the Reserve Bank of India announced relief measures which involved provision of term liquidity facility of Rs 50,000 crore on priority basis for healthcare sector and loan moratorium for individual borrowers and small businesses. The Sensex rose as much as 489 points to hit an intraday high of 48,743 and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday high of 14,632.45.
The Sensex ended 424 points or 0.88 per cent higher at 48,677.55 and Nifty 50 index climbed 121 points or 0.84 per cent to settle at 14,617.75.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das said the central bank has asked lenders to provide fresh moratorium to certain small borrowers, which will be available to individuals and small and medium enterprises that did not avail any restructuring in 2020.
Amid spurt in coronavirus cases, RBI also announced an on-tap liquidity window of Rs 50,000 crore for companies engaged in healthcare infrastructure and services.
The facility of on-tap liquidity with tenors of up to three years at the repo rate will remain open till March 31, 2022, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said while announcing steps to deal with the impact of the second wave of coronavirus pandemic.
All the 11 sector gauges, barring the index of real estate shares, compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended higher led by the Nifty Pharma index's 4 per cent gain. Nifty Bank, Private Bank, PSU Bank, Financial Services, IT and Metal indices also rose over 1 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares also witnessed buying interest as Nifty Midcap 100 index rose 1 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index advanced 0.45 per cent.
Sun Pharma was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 5.8 per cent to close at Rs 683. UPL, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, ICICI Bank, Titan, Dr Reddy's Labs, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, Bajaj Finserv, Hindalco, ONGC and UltraTech Cement also rose between 1-5 per cent.
On the flipside, Adani Ports, Bajaj Finance, SBI Life, Asian Paints, Hindustan Unilever, HDFC and Tech Mahindra were among the notable losers.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,812 shares ended higher while 1,123 closed lower on the BSE.