Indices scale fresh highs, Sensex zooms 350 points, Nifty tests 12,750; autos, pharma cos rally

The benchmark equity indices on the BSE and National Stock Exchange (NSE) continued their bull run and surged to their fresh highs during the early trade on Wednesday aided by positive cues in global market.

At 9:41 am, the S&P BSE Sensex was at 43,638.87 — its new record high, up 361.22 points (0.83 per cent), while the broader Nifty 50 was up 117.10 points (0.93 per cent) at a fresh high of 12,748.20. Both the indices had opened around 0.3 per cent higher and inched up further as the day progressed.

On Tuesday, the Sensex had rallied 680.22 points (1.60 per cent) to settle over the 43,000-mark at 43,277.65. Likewise, the Nifty too had surged 170.05 points (1.36 per cent) to end above the 12,600-level at 12,631.10.

Among gainers, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Bajaj Finance, Kotak Mahindra Bank, State Bank of India (SBI), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and ITC were driving the BSE benchmark, while IndusInd Bank, Hindustan Unilever (HUL), Titan Company and Power Grid Corporation of India were among the top laggards. See heatmap below

Among the sectoral indices, the Nifty Auto index was up nearly 2 per cent in early trade driven by Balkrishna Industries, Hero MotoCorp and M&M. Likewise, the Nifty Pharma index too was up over 1.5 per cent led by Aurobindo Pharma, Lupin and Cipla.

Here’s how the sectoral indices were performing:

Global market
Shares were mostly higher Wednesday in Asia after a worldwide rally spurred by hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine will help the global economy return to normal.

Benchmarks advanced in Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney but edged lower in Hong Kong and Shanghai, where new Chinese regulations focused on technology companies prompted selling in that sector.

The proposed regulations issued Monday for public comment give guidelines on how China’s 2008 anti-monopoly law will be applied to internet companies. The announcement gave no indication operators are accused of wrongdoing but cited areas where regulators might look for problems including sharing of information and alliances or pricing services below cost to keep out new competitors.

As of midday, e-commerce giant Alibaba’s shares had fallen 7.3 per cent and Tencent, owner of the popular WeChat social media platform, had lost 5 per cent and online retailer was down 6.2 per cent.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng lost 0.2 per cent to 26,241.52 and the Shanghai Composite index declined 0.2 per cent to 3,356.88.

But other regional markets were mostly higher. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gained 1.2 per cent to 25,197.68 and the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1.3 per cent to 6,419.50. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.7 per cent to 2,470.11.

On Wall Street, stocks downshifted on Tuesday after a powerful worldwide rally the day before. It was the second straight day that rising hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine pushed investors to reorder which stocks they see winning and losing.

Treasury yields and oil held onto their big gains from a day earlier or added some more amid strengthened confidence in the economy.

The S&P 500 dipped 0.1 per cent to 3,545.53, after erasing most of an early loss. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.9 per cent to 29,420.92 and the Nasdaq composite dropped 1.4 per cent, to 11,553.86.

— global market input from AP

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