Covid cases hit a record 1,26,789 infections in a day but markets look positive on global cues
Market barometer Sensex kicked off the day with a 300-point leap, riding on the back of a surge in index heavyweights HDFC twins, ICICI Bank and Infosys.
The 30-share BSE index was trading 343.32 points or 0.69 per cent higher at 50,005.08, and the broader NSE Nifty advanced 102.90 points or 0.69 per cent to 14,921.95 in the early hours of Thursday.
HDFC was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising around 2 per cent, followed by Bajaj Finserv, Tech Mahindra, UltraTech Cement, ICICI Bank, SBI and Infosys. Bajaj Auto, ONGC, Nestle India, Dr Reddy’s and Kotak Bank were among the laggards.
In the previous session, Sensex jumped 460.37 points or 0.94 per cent to finish at 49,661.76, and Nifty advanced 135.55 points or 0.92 per cent to 14,819.05. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were the net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 227.42 crore on Wednesday.
“Domestic equities look to be modestly good now. The market has once again defied concerns of rising Covid-19 cases in the country after favourable outcome from RBI’s policy meeting and assurance of no nationwide lockdown by the government,” says Binod Modi, Strategy Head at Reliance Securities.
India witnessed a record 1,26,789 fresh cases of Corona virus infection in the last 24 hours. Local-level mobility restrictions due to continued surge in new coronavirus cases in various parts of the country are expected to keep markets volatile in the near term, Modi says.
The rupee slumped to 74.35/74.36 to the dollar, against 73.43/73.44 in the previous session, weighed down due to importers’ dollar purchase and bank’s dollar short covering. “The Dollar Index is trading on negative note where it will hold a support of $92.30-92.05 levels from where could see a bounced back up to $92.85-$93.10 levels,” Kshitij Purohit, Product Manager, Currency and Commodities at CapitalVia Global Research Limited.
Dollar inflows into stocks have decreased since the beginning of April with forex inflows forecast to be half of what they were in the previous fiscal year, the rupee is expected to steadily weaken against the dollar. “The USDINR Spot on could hold resistance near 74.60-74.75 levels. Support is at 74.20-74.00 levels in coming session,” says Purohit. “If prices do not sustain at the level, we may expect a further downfall till 74.00-73.90 which is acting as a strong support. USDINR Spot could trade in a range of 74.20-74.60 levels in coming session.”
Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul were trading on a positive note in mid-session deals, while Tokyo was in the red in the early trading hours on Thursday. US equities mostly ended with marginal gains after the release of minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting showed that members of the Federal Reserve were in no hurry to tighten monetary support amid pandemic, Modi says.
“Despite improving economic outlook and labour market, Fed officials stated that it will take some time before any type of tapering of the monthly asset purchase programme and tightening in policy rates. This has certainly offered respite to global equities,” he says.
Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.19 per cent lower at $63.04 per barrel.
(With inputs from PTI)