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D-St cheers drop in Covid cases; Sensex up 296 pts; pharma, metal stks gain – Business Standard

MARKET LIVE: Indices trade higher in rangebound session; Nifty Metal up 3%

Stock market updates: A sharp drop in daily Covid-19 cases perked up bulls on Dalal Street on Monday as investors hoped for sooner-than-expected taper down of the second wave. However, even though the new case count, at over 366,000 new infections and 3,754 deaths reported by the health ministry, were off a little from recent peak, it came on the back of 1.47 million tests for Covid-19 which were this month’s lowest yet.

Nonetheless, domestic equity indices started gap-up and remained parked near day’s high level for better part of the day. Among the frontline indices, the BSE barometer of 30-shares hit an intra-day high of 49,617 before ending the session at 49,502 levels, up 296 points or 0.6 per cent. About seven of the 30 constituents ended the day in the red including UltraTech Cement, Infosys, HCL Tech, Reliance Industries, Asian Paints, Bajaj Finserv, and Axis Bank. The stocks declined up to 1.3 per cent.

On the upside, L&T, Dr Reddy’s Labs, Sun Pharma, NTPC, PowerGrid, and IndusInd Bank were the top index gainers, up between 2 per cent and 4 per cent.

On the NSE, the index reclaimed the crucial 14,900-mark and extended it rally to as high as 14,967 during the day. It ended the day at 14,942 levels, up 119 points or 0.8 per cent, riding on the back of gains in Coal India, UPL, Hindalco, Indian Oil Corporation, Tata Motors, L&T, and Divis Labs. These stocks rallied up to 8 per cent.

Sectorally, the Nifty Metal and Pharma indices zoomed 3 per cent each on the NSE with the Nifty Pharma index hitting an all-time high of 14,228 in the intra-day deals today. Since April, the Nifty Pharma index has outperformed the market by surging 15 per cent, as against a 1.7 per cent gain in the index. READ MORE

That apart, metal stocks ruled at the bourses today as Copper continued to breach record high levels across exchanges amid surge in demand. On the MCX, the metal surpassed the Rs800 levels whilst prices on the LME continued to hover near its all time high of $10,638. Consequently, MOIL, NMDC, Coal India, Hindalco, Nalco, Vedanta, and Tata Steel jumped up to 8 per cent on the NSE today.

Meanwhile, all other sectoral indices were up in the range of 0.02 per cent (Nifty IT index) to 1.6 per cent (Nifty Auto index).

Overall, the market breadth favoured bulls in the ratio of 2:1 aided by an outperformance in the broader The S&P BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices gained 1 per cent each today.

Global markets

World stocks ticked up to new peaks on Monday on bets interest rates will remain low and the economies will continue their recovery. MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe hit a fresh record high and was up 0.1 per cent. 

Europe’s STOXX 600 regional benchmark was up 0.1 per cent in early deals, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4 per cent.

In the commodities market, however, oil prices rose after a cyber attack shut down a US pipeline operator that provides nearly half of the US east coast’s fuel supply. Brent crude rose 0.5 per cent to $68.64 per barrel, while US crude ticked up 0.5 per cent to $65.23 a barrel.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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