Domestic stock markets gave up most of early gains after soaring to a six-month high on Tuesday, as as a decline in heavyweights Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank countered hopes around US-China trade talks and potential coronavirus treatments. The NSE Nifty 50 index rose as much as 0.52 per cent – or 59.45 points – in the first half of the session, to its best since late February, and the S&P BSE Sensex benchmark climbed up 0.54 per cent (209.81 points) to 39,008.89. Gains in banking and financial services shares supported the markets, however losses in consumer goods, metal and pharmaceutical stocks limited the upside.
At 1:13 pm, the Sensex traded 62.07 points – or 0.16 per cent – higher at 38,861.15, while the Nifty was up 9.12 points – or 0.08 per cent – at 11,475.57.
State Bank of India, Bajaj Finance, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank, trading between 2.19 per cent and 3.10 per cent higher, rose the most in the 50-scrip Nifty basket.
Shree Cement, GAIL, JSW Steel, Tata Steel and Adani Ports, trading between 1.28 per cent and 2.25 per cent lower, were the worst hit among the 29 laggards in the index.
ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and Bajaj Finance were the biggest boosts to Sensex.
Analysts awaited the release of official data on the country’s GDP due next week for more clarity on the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Equities across Asia continued to rise after the US drug regulator authorised the use of plasma fir treatment of COVID-19 in the world’s largest economy. Reports that top USand Chinese officials see progress being made in resolving concerns around the Phase 1 trade deal reached between the two countries in January also boosted global sentiment.