Extending their previous session gains, Indian equity benchmarks ended the Thursday’s trade in green terrain with Sensex and Nifty settling above their crucial 48,900 and 14,700, respectively. Markets started the session on optimistic note as traders took support with a report that Roche India announced that the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) has provided an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for its antibody cocktail Casirivimab and Imdevimab in India to treat COVID-19 patients. Soon market participants turned cautious and key gauges pared all their gains to trade near neutral lines after principal scientific advisor K Vijayaraghavan said the third phase of the pandemic is inevitable given the high level of circulating virus, without giving a timeframe. Meanwhile, the cumulative caseload has surged past 21 million, Worldometer showed.
However, markets gained traction in second half of the day as traders turned optimistic with US President Joe Biden's decision to back waiving intellectual property rights on vaccines. This will quicken the vaccination process enabling countries like India to come out of the pandemic faster. Markets extended gains in last leg of trade as in order to prevent the COVID-induced health crisis from turning into a full-blown economic catastrophe, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has asked multilateral lending institutions like the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to extend support to developing countries. Besides, the Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of Republic of India and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom on Global Innovation Partnership (GIP). Traders shrugged off report that S&P Global Ratings has slashed India's GDP growth forecast for the current financial year (FY22) to 9.8 per cent. The US-based rating agency in March had a 11 per cent GDP growth forecast for India for the April 2021-March 2022 fiscal on account of a fast economic reopening and fiscal stimulus.
On the global front, European markets were trading higher as strong earnings reports from AB Inbev and several eurozone banks added to an upbeat mood sparked by solid economic data. Asian markets ended mostly higher on Thursday, after Singapore retail sales increased in March. The data from the Department of Statistics showed that retail sales rose 6.2 percent year-on-year in March, after a 5.3 percent growth in February. Motor vehicle sales accelerated 15.2 percent annually in March, after a 9.1 percent drop in the previous month.
Back home, Industry chamber PHDCCI said imposition of partial lockdowns and curfews in many parts of the country, due to re-emergence of COVID-19 pandemic, has created incipient signs of economic slowdown in the coming months. It also said that the strong growth of GST collections may partly be attributed to the significant acceleration in input costs vis-a-vis increase in commodity prices. On the sectoral front, aviation stocks remained in focus as rating agency Icra estimates 29 per cent sequenztial decline in domestic air traffic in April as the second wave of Covid-19 disrupted air travel. It said in April domestic airlines flew 5.5-5.6 million passengers compared to 7.8 million passengers in March.
Finally, the BSE Sensex surged 272.21 points or 0.56% to 48,949.76, while the CNX Nifty was up by 106.95 points or 0.73% to 14,724.80.
The BSE Sensex touched high and low of 49,011.31 and 48,614.11, respectively and there were 18 stocks advancing against 12 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices ended in green; the BSE Mid cap index jumped 0.91%, while Small cap index was up by 0.59%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Metal up by 2.74%, Auto up by 1.81%, IT up by 1.43%, Basic Materials up by 1.38% and TECK was up by 1.18%, while there were no losers on the BSE sectoral front.
The top gainers on the Sensex were Tata Steel up by 5.38%, HDFC Bank up by 2.55%, Power Grid up by 2.38%, Ultratech Cement up by 2.23% and Kotak Mahindra Bank up by 2.10%. On the flip side, HCL Tech down by 3.76%, Mahindra & Mahindra down by 1.72%, Reliance Industries down by 1.36%, Asian Paints down by 1.17% and Nestle down by 1.02% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, with an aim to foster the innovative ecosystem in India, the Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of Republic of India and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom on Global Innovation Partnership (GIP).
GIP innovations will focus on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) related sectors thereby assisting recipient countries achieve their SDGs. Through seed funding, grants, investments and technical assistance, the partnership will support Indian entrepreneurs and innovators to test, scale up and take their innovative development solutions to select developing countries.
The innovations selected under GIP would accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals and benefit the base of the pyramid populations thus promoting equity and inclusivity in recipient countries. GIP will also develop an open and inclusive e-market place (E-BAAZAR) for cross border innovation transfer and will focus on results based impact assessment thereby promoting transparency and accountability.
The CNX Nifty traded in a range of 14,611.50 and 14,743.90 and there were 33 stocks advancing against 17 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Hindalco up by 5.13%, Hero MotoCorp up by 4.49%, Wipro up by 4.42%, Tata Motors up by 3.34% and Eicher Motors up by 2.99%. On the flip side, Power Grid down by 1.28%, UPL down by 1.20%, NTPC down by 0.82%, Bajaj Finserv down by 0.78% and ONGC down by 0.77% were the top losers.
European markets were trading higher, UK’s FTSE 100 increased 18.35 points or 0.26% to 7,057.65, France’s CAC increased 26.01 points or 0.41% to 6,365.48 and Germany’s DAX was up by 78.95 points or 0.52% to 15,249.73.
Asian markets ended mostly higher on Thursday. Seoul shares gained with expectations for global economic rebound despite inflation worries. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen clarified that she wasn’t forecasting interest-rate increases to rein in any inflation spurred by President Joe Biden’s proposed spending. Japanese shares also posted strong gains as traders returned to their desks after a five-day holiday. Although, Japan considering extending a state of emergency in Tokyo and other major urban areas to contain infections that are straining the capital's medical system. Chinese shares ended lower on Sino-West tensions, and also on resumed trading for the first time since last week.
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