Continuing its gaining streak, the equity market ended in the positive zone on Thursday, though gains were capped as sell-off resumed in financial stocks in the second half of the session.
The S&P BSE Sensex ended at 30,933, up 114 points or 0.37 per cent while the 50-share index Nifty of NSE held on to the crucial 9,100-level to end at 9,106.25, up 40 points or 0.44 per cent. Volatility continued to decline as India VIX today dropped nearly 8 per cent to 33 levels.
Broader market, however, fared well and outperformed the headline indices. For instance, the S&P BSE MidCap index gained 0.76 per cent and the S&P BSE SmallCap added 0.72 per cent.
FMCG major ITC rallied over 7 per cent to Rs 188.90 on the BSE and emerged as the biggest gainer on Sensex. The company has resumed cigarette production and distribution, after a hiatus of over a month. The category leader in the country, ITC has a market share of 77 per cent in cigarettes. READ MORE
Aviation stocks, InterGlobe Aviation and SpiceJet, climbed in the trade after the government on Wednesday announced that domestic airline operations would resume on May 25, more than two months after all flights were halted. READ MORE
Bajaj Auto ended 3 per cent higher at Rs 2,623.80 apiece on the BSE after the two-wheeler manufacturer posted better-than-expected numbers for March quarter. READ MORE
Sectorally, financial stocks slipped in the trade. Nifty Private Bank index dropped 0.64 per cent and Nifty Bank lost 0.5 per cent to 17,744.20 levels.
Equity markets slipped on Thursday on concerns about the long-term impact of the new coronavirus and simmering US-China tensions, though those worries couldn’t stop oil prices from marching to a 2-1/2 month high.
In Asia, China stocks ended lower, hurt by tech players, on news that US regulators are open to making changes to close a possible loophole in a new rule aimed at curbing global chip sales to Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Ltd. Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.23 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.21 per cent.
In Europe, too, shares fell as investors braced for the latest batch of business activity data to underline the blow to the euro zone economy from sweeping lockdown measures imposed to curb the virus spread.
In commodities, oil prices rose to their highest since March as a drawdown of US crude inventories and output cuts by major producers helped ease concerns about a supply glut, offsetting fears over the economic fallout from the Covid-19 epidemic.
(With inputs from Reuters)