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Markets build on gains as coronavirus fears recede; FMCG, bank stocks shine

Mumbai, Feb 12 (PTI) The Sensex soared 350 points while the Nifty reclaimed the 12,200-mark on Wednesday on widespread buying in FMCG, bank and IT counters amid a positive trend in global equities on hopes that new coronavirus cases have plateaued.

Extending its gains for the second session, the 30-share BSE Sensex soared 349.76 points, or 0.85 per cent, to close at 41,565.90. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty jumped 93.30 points, or 0.77 per cent, to 12,201.20.

HUL was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying 5 per cent, followed by Kotak Bank, Nestle India, ICICI Bank, Mahindra and Mahindra, Asian Paints and RIL.

On the other hand, SBI, IndusInd Bank, Sun Pharma, Ultratech Cement, PowerGrid and NTPC fell up to 1.34 per cent.

Traders said domestic equities took positive cues from the global markets that climbed on optimism that spread of the coronavirus has been contained.

China on Wednesday reported its lowest number on new coronavirus cases since late January as authorities scrambled to contain its spread.

However, WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had on Tuesday said that although 99 per cent of cases are in China, where it remains 'very much an emergency,' it also 'holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world.' Investors were also awaiting inflation and factory output data, scheduled for release later in the day, traders added.

'Investors' appetite for risk improved as coronavirus concerns receded for the second day in a row. The impact of coronavirus has already affected the supply chains and factory activities across the globe, but the ground reality is improving in China and we can expect improvement in the next quarter.

'The domestic market is awaiting the January inflation and consensus show a spike in inflation which is expected to impact rate-sensitive stocks,' said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

BSE FMCG, bankex, energy, IT, metal, teck and auto indices rose up to 1.90 per cent, while power, realty, consumer durables and capital goods fell up to 0.96 per cent.

However, the broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices underperformed the benchmarks, shedding up to 0.29 per cent.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul settled with gains. Stock exchanges in Europe also opened on a positive note.

Meanwhile, Brent crude oil futures rose 2.20 per cent to USD 55.20 per barrel.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee depreciated 4 paise to 71.32 per US dollar (intra-day). PTI ANS HDA