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Markets open on positive note: Sensex jumps 300 points, Nifty above 8,900; ITC, HDFC, HUL among top gainers

FP Staff

The markets opened on a positive note today. The benchmark indices were trading higher in the opening session. Shares rose on Wednesday, helped by gains in beaten-down banking stocks and ITC, even as domestic coronavirus cases continued to rise unabated, dampening the growth outlook for Asia's third-largest economy.

Sensex jumped over 300 points tracking gains in index-heavyweights ITC, HDFC twins and HUL amid mixed cues from global markets. After rising to 30,524.53, the 30-share index was trading at 217.69 points or 0.72 per cent higher at 30,413.86.

Despite the gains, the Nifty continued to trade below the 9,000 level, which it breached on Monday after the government's economic relief measures to support an already slowing economy hit by the pandemic disappointed markets.

The NSE Nifty rose 57.70 points, or 0.65 percent, to 8,936.80.

Manish Hathiramani, Index trader and market analyst, Deen Dayal Investments, told Firstpost, "The Nifty50 opened flat but was quick to start moving up towards its resistance level of 9,030, which was also the day's high of Tuesday (19 May). If we are meant to move down, we should resist there and turnaround to again revisit the levels of 8,800. If we are successful in moving beyond 9,030, we might see some further upside till about 9,100," he said.

HDFC Bank Ltd and mortgage lender HDFC Ltd, up more than 1 percent each, were the two biggest boosts to the Nifty 50. Consumer products giant ITC Ltd was the top gainer in the Sensex pack surging 3.3 percent. It was followed by L&T, Tata Steel, NTPC, HUL, PowerGrid, HDFC twins and UltraTech Cement.

On the other hand, Hero MotoCorp, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, Asian Paints and SBI were among the laggards.

In the previous session, the BSE barometer settled 167.19 points or 0.56 percent higher at 30,196.17, while the broader Nifty advanced 55.85 points or 0.63 percent to end at 8,879.10.

Foreign portfolio investors offloaded equities worth Rs 1,328.31 crore in the capital market on Tuesday, provisional exchange data showed.

According to traders, stock-specific action led benchmarks higher in morning session.

Market bias remains negative along with continued volatility in the near term as the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country kept market participants on edge, they said.

The number of COVID-19 cases in India spiked to 1.06 lakh, while the death toll rose to 3,303, according to the health ministry.

Globally, the number of cases linked to the disease has crossed 48.97 lakh and the death toll has topped 3.23 lakh.

Bourses in Shanghai and Hong Kong were in the red, while Tokyo and Seoul were trading with gains.

Stock exchanges on Wall Street ended with losses in overnight session.

International oil benchmark Brent crude futures were trading 0.87 per cent higher at $34.95 per barrel.

Rupee rises 6 paise to 75.60 against US dollar in early trade

The rupee appreciated 6 paise to 75.60 against the US dollar in early trade on Wednesday tracking positive opening of domestic equities.

Forex traders said a positive start of domestic stocks supported the local unit, while sustained foreign fund outflows and concerns over coronavirus pandemic weighed on the local unit.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened at 75.60, registering a rise of 6 paise over its previous close.

On Tuesday, the rupee had settled at 75.66 against the US dollar.

Domestic bourses were trading on a positive note with the benchmark Sensex trading 281.53 points higher at 30,477.70 and broader Nifty rising 87.20 points to 8,966.30.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading 0.09 per cent higher at 99.46.

Traders said investor sentiment remained fragile amid concerns over the impact of coronavirus outbreak on the domestic as well as global economy.

Globally, over 48.97 lakh people have been infected by the virus and over 3.23 lakh have died.

In India, the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 3,303 and the number of cases climbed to 1.06 lakh, according to the health ministry.