Sensex jumps nearly 500 pts; Nifty tops 9,300

Sensex jumps nearly 500 pts; Nifty tops 9,300

A man reacts as he looks at a screen displaying the Sensex results on the facade of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building. (Reuters Photo)

Equity benchmark Sensex jumped nearly 500 points in early trade on Tuesday amid value-buying in recently hammered stocks even as investors fretted over an impending economic global recession led by COVID-19 pandemic.

After gyrating over 1,000 points in a highly volatile opening session, the BSE barometer was trading 475.45 points or 1.51 per cent higher at 31,865.52.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty advanced 163 points, or 1.77 per cent, to 9,360.40.

In the previous session, the Sensex logged its second-biggest drop in absolute terms, plunging 2,713.41 points or 7.96 per cent to finish at 31,390.07. Likewise, the Nifty slumped 757.80 points or 7.61 per cent to end at 9,197.40.

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On a net basis, foreign institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 3,809.93 crore on Monday, data available with stock exchanges showed.

Tata Steel was the top gainer, followed by Maruti, Sun Pharma, HUL, ONGC and Reliance Industries, while HDFC twins, ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank and Titan were the top laggards.

According to traders, despite heightened volatility amid fears of an economic recession, investors began bottom fishing at lower levels.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Japan were trading on a positive note, while those in Seoul were in the red.

In overnight trade, Wall Street indices collapsed in their worst day since 1987, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq dropping about 12 per cent and the Dow sinking nearly 13 per cent on new coronavirus (COVID-19) scare.

The number of deaths around the world linked to the virus has topped 7,000, after Italy announced a new surge in fatalities, with over 1,75,000 infections recorded globally so far.

In India, the number of infected cases stood at 125, as per the union health ministry log.

After market hours on Monday, the Reserve Bank hinted at a rate cut but stopped short of a decision, belying market expectations at a hurriedly called presser even as it announced some liquidity enhancing measures to contain the economic fallout from the coronavirus.

But Governor Shaktikanta Das was quick to assure that the Reserve Bank has "enough policy tools and stands ready to take any measures" needed to help the economy tide over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

In two liquidity enhancing measures, Das announced another round of USD 2 billion dollar-rupee swaps on March 23, and in another measure, he said the RBI will continue to conduct the long-term repo operations (LTROs) of up to Rs 1 lakh crore as and when the market needs it.

The rupee appreciated 22 paise to 74.03 against the US dollar in the morning session.

Meanwhile, global oil benchmark Brent crude futures rose over 2.10 per cent to USD 30.67 per barrel. 

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