The domestic equities were trading with modest gains in early afternoon trade. The Nifty was trading above 14,900 mark. All the sectoral indices on the NSE were in the green.
At 12:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, soared 271.91 points or 0.55% at 49,933.67. The Nifty 50 index gained 103.85 points or 0.70% at 14,922.90.
Investors risk appetite improved after the minutes of last month's meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve suggested that Fed officials were united on the need to see more progress on economic recovery before scaling back their bond-buying program.
In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index added 0.98% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index rose 1.09%.
The market breadth was strong. On the BSE, 1,878 shares rose and 859 shares fell. A total of 150 shares were unchanged.
The NSE's India VIX, a gauge of market's expectation of volatility over the near term, fell 1.29% to 19.9850. The Nifty 29 April 2021 futures were trading at 14,987.95, at a premium of 65.05 points as compared with the spot at 14,922.90.
The Nifty option chain for 29 April 2021 expiry showed maximum Call OI of 21.6 lakh contracts at the 15,000 strike price. Maximum Put OI of 39 lakh contracts was seen at 14,000 strike price.
Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 13,31,31,285 with 28,87,888 deaths. India reported 9,10,319 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 1,66,862 deaths while 1,18,51,393 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
India detected 1,26,789 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the highest so far. Of the total, Maharashtra recorded a new high of 59,907 cases, while Chhattisgarh's count went past the 10,000-mark for the first time. Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, too, reported more than 6,000 cases. The country also recorded 685 related deaths.
The Nifty Metal index jumped 3.64% to 4,482.90. The index has surged 20.58% in nine sessions.
JSW Steel (up 7.16%), Jindal Steel (up 6.42%), Tata Steel (up 4.81%), SAIL (up 4.18%) and Hindalco Industries (up 3.90%) rallied.
Stocks in Spotlight:
UCO Bank rose 0.26%. The board of UCO Bank on Wednesday (7 April 2021), approved raising Rs 2,600 crore through issue of equity shares on preferential basis to Government of India (GoI).
Ashok Leyland jumped 6.30%. The commercial vehicles maker's subsidiary Switch Mobility, the U.K. based EV producer of buses and vans, announced its global expansion plans into India and its plan to create two subsidiary companies. The first, Switch Mobility Automotive, is being formed to carry on the EV strategy in India, which forms part of its global entity. The second is OHM Global Mobility, which will focus on providing mobility as a Service offering.
Switch Mobility Automotive brings together Ashok Leyland's capabilities both from Optare UK and Ashok Leyland's EV Division. OHM Global Mobility is a solutions company being piloted in India with ambitious plans to roll out Mobility as a Service (eMaaS) globally. Together, Switch and OHM will provide a net carbon zero emission solution to India's exciting trend towards EV urban buses and LCVs.