Markets pared some initial gains but continued to trade in green in afternoon session amid positive cues from the Covid front and a rally in some of the index majors. Latest data indicates plateauing of the Covid curve and a steady decline in Covid numbers in 13 states, including Maharashtra. After peaking 4.02 lakhs on May 1, the daily figure has been declining steadily. However, upside remain capped as Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has stated that the second wave of COVID-19 and the resultant localised lockdowns have impacted over 75 lakh jobs, taking the unemployment rate to a four-month high of 8 per cent. Buying in frontline stocks such as SBI, Bajaj Finance and Kotak Mahindra Bank were aiding sentiment, while selling in Reliance Industries, Dr. Reddys Lab and Mahindra & Mahindra kept the gains in the markets in check.
On the global front, Asian markets were trading mixed as regional equity investors looked to signs of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic as major economies around the world reopen. Back on street, Diplomats from India and South Africa are working together to convince American lawmakers and policymakers on the need to support their proposal before the WTO to temporary waive some of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) during the COVID-19 emergency. WTO is scheduled to hold a meeting on this issue on May 5.
The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 48810.31, up by 91.79 points or 0.19% after trading in a range of 48521.85 and 48996.53. There were 17 stocks advancing against 13 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading in green; the BSE Mid cap index rose 0.93%, while Small cap index was up by 1.15%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were PSU up by 2.56%, Utilities up by 1.45%, Bankex up by 1.40%, Oil & Gas up by 1.24% and Industrials was up by 1.00%, while Telecom down by 0.32%, Energy down by 0.32%, Healthcare down by 0.31%, FMCG down by 0.19% and TECK was down by 0.10% were the top losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were SBI up by 3.37%, Bajaj Finance up by 3.04%, Kotak Mahindra Bank up by 1.97%, Axis Bank up by 1.75% and Indusind Bank was up by 1.44%. On the flip side, Reliance Industries down by 1.11%, Dr. Reddys Lab down by 1.00%, Mahindra & Mahindra down by 1.00%, Sun Pharma down by 0.90% and Titan Company was down by 0.73% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, Industry body -- The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has urged the government to take 'strongest' national steps including curtailing economic activity to contain the spike in COVID-19 cases in the country. CII President Uday Kotak has asked for highest-level response measures to address the rising wave of COVID-19 cases, as currently safeguarding lives is key to cut the transmission links. He said ‘the healthcare infrastructure and supply build-up are being undertaken on an emergency basis by the governments at the Centre and states, but will take time.’
The chamber said that the current pace of daily caseloads, the requirement for hospital beds and ICU beds, oxygen, and medicines will continue to escalate. The President has said ‘At this critical juncture when the toll of lives is rising, CII urges the strongest national steps including curtailing economic activity to reduce suffering’. He said ‘Healthcare and frontline workers are giving their best efforts to tackle the influx of patients, but it may not be possible to manage escalating caseloads with the present medical talent availability. We must heed expert advice on this subject – from India and abroad. Highest response measures are needed to break the chain of contagion and also use the time to rapidly build up capacity’.
CII also suggested certain measures such as deployment of armed forces and central security forces for logistics, infrastructure and personnel; security at hospitals for medical personnel; tapping manpower sources such as retired medical personnel, doctors and nurses; and distribution of vaccination supplies to states according to well-defined criteria. It recommended ‘Nursing and medical students who have finished GNM/BSC training and who are awaiting exams can be roped in and this can be counted for future requirements/credits after one year of COVID ICU work,’. Further, it asked for scaling up RT-PCR testing to double the current daily numbers both in urban and rural India.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 14668.35, up by 34.20 points or 0.23% after trading in a range of 14580.15 and 14723.40. There were 31 stocks advancing against 19 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were SBI up by 3.31%, Bajaj Finance up by 3.13%, SBI Life Insurance up by 3.12%, BPCL up by 2.49% and UPL was up by 1.93%. On the flip side, Tata Consumer Products down by 3.54%, Cipla down by 2.55%, Wipro down by 1.22%, Reliance Industries down by 1.09% and Mahindra & Mahindra was down by 1.01% were the top losers.
Asian markets were trading mixed, Jakarta Composite lost 15.08 points or 0.25% to 5,937.52, Taiwan Weighted dropped 288.57 points or 1.68% to 16,933.78 and Straits Times was down by 3.36 points or 0.11% to 3,181.40. On the other hand; Hang Seng increased 151.46 points or 0.53% to 28,509.00 and KOSPI was up by 20.17 points or 0.64% to 3,147.37.
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