Domestic stock markets started Friday’s session on a positive note tracking gains in Asian equities, a day after benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty suffered their worst day in three weeks as a record number of new COVID-19 infections in parts of Europe spooked investors across the globe. The S&P BSE Sensex index rose 384.33 points – or 0.97 per cent – to touch 40,125.71 at the strongest level recorded in early deals, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark climbed to as high as 11,768.80, up 88.45 points – or 0.76 per cent – from its previous close.
Gains across sectors – led by strong buying interest in banking, auto and IT shares – pushed the markets higher.
At 10:50 am, the Sensex traded at 40,025.43, up 297.02 points – or 0.75 per cent – from its previous close, while the Nifty was up 75.10 points – or 0.64 per cent – at 11,755.45.
Bharat Petroleum, Divi’s Laboratories, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Steel and Bajaj Auto, trading between 2 per cent and 2.65 per cent higher, were the top gainers in the 50-scrip Nifty index.
On the other hand, UPL, HCL Tech, Nestle – down 5.92 per cent, 3.15 per cent and 1.07 per cent respectively, were the worst hit among nine laggards in the basket.
Shares in Noida-based HCL Tech fell after the IT company reported its financial results for the September quarter and announced a dividend of Rs 4.
The government said on Thursday that it plans to borrow Rs 1.1 lakh crore in tranches to compensate states for tax losses due to the spread of coronavirus, breaking an impasse between the Centre and some of the states. Under the 2017 national goods and services tax (GST), the central government was mandated to compensate states if their revenue growth fell below 14 per cent a year.
Equities elsewhere in Asia moved higher on Friday, buoyed by gains in China, but caution prevailed amid resurgence of coronavirus infections in Europe and the US. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 0.26 per cent higher.
While Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark was up 0.07 per cent at the time, China’s Shanghai Composite index was up 0.17 per cent.
Dragged by a selloff in IT and financial stocks, the Sensex had ended 1,066.33 points (2.61 per cent) lower at 39,728.41 on Thursday, and the Nifty fallen 290.70 points (2.43 per cent) to 11,680.35 – both indices halted their longest gaining streak in nearly six years.
European markets fell to two-week lows, knocked by tougher curbs in London and Paris to fight a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, With no breakthrough in Brexit trade talks also a dampener.
Also, downbeat comments from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that a stimulus deal was unlikely be made before the November 3 vote in the US hurt global market sentiment.