Indian Markets: Sensex, Nifty open in green but pare gains in opening session (Photo Credit: PTI File)
Equity benchmark Sensex surged over 500 points in opening session on Monday on hopes of an economic stimulus after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a financial task force to take necessary actions to combat the Covid-19 pandemic's economic blow. The indices, however, succumbed to profit-booking at higher levels as concerns remained over the rising cases of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), traders said. After spiking 573.07 points, the BSE barometer gave up all gains to trade 195.57 points or 0.69 per cent lower at 28,092.66. Similarly, the NSE Nifty was trading 39.15 points, or 0.47 per cent, down at 8,224.30, after hitting a high of 8,441.25 in early session.
In the previous session, the 30-share BSE index closed 581.28 points or 2.01 per cent lower at 28,288.23. The Nifty tumbled 205.35 points, or 2.42 per cent, to close at 8,263.45.
Meanwhile, the rupee too appreciated 37 paise to 74.74 against US dollar in morning session. Global oil benchmark, Brent crude futures rose over 2.04 per cent to USD 29.05 per barrel.
On a net basis, foreign institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 4,622.93 crore on Thursday, data available with stock exchanges showed.
IndusInd Bank was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, tanking up to 7 per cent, followed by HDFC twins, Kotak Bank, Bajaj Finance, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank. On the other hand, ITC, PowerGrid, HUL, ONGC and Sun Pharma were among the gainers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced setting up of a task force under Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman which will take necessary actions "in the near future" after analysing the coronavirus pandemic situation.
According to government sources, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will hold a meeting with MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari, Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel on Friday to assess the situation in order to work out a package.
Calling for "resolve and restraint" to fight coronavirus, Modi asked the entire country to observe 'Janta curfew' on Sunday.
In a nearly 30-minute national broadcast, he asked people to stay indoors and work from home as much as possible while underscoring the dangers of coronavirus, saying the world has never seen a crisis as grave as this.
The novel coronavirus cases in India rose to 195 on Friday after 22 fresh cases were reported from various parts of the country, according to the Health Ministry data.
Globally, the death toll from the virus has risen to over 9,800 with more than 232,650 cases in 158 countries and territories.
"The PM had set the stage for more action to follow. The Covid- 19 Task Force under the FM's leadership can be expected to come out with concrete proposals very soon," said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.
The huge oil bounty from the crude crash can be used for this, he said adding that PM's appeal is a curtain raiser for the concrete actions to follow soon.
World over, market sentiments improved as governments stepped up measures to cushion the financial blow of the pandemic, analysts said, adding that concerns over the rapid spread of the virus remained.
Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul jumped up to 4 per cent, while Tokyo was in the red. Stock exchanges on Wall Street too ended on a positive note.