Sensex, Nifty Rise for 4th Straight Session; Pharma, Banking Stocks Lead Rally

Rupee rises by 16 paise against the US dollar; Covid cases in the country cross 400k

Equity gauges Sensex and Nifty rallied for the fourth straight session on Monday on hectic buying in mainly pharma, power and banking shares as investors brushed aside concerns over rising coronavirus cases amid positive global cues.

At the closing bell, the 30-share BSE index quoted 295.94 points or 0.60 per cent higher at 49,502.41.

Over the last four sessions, the Sensex has gained 1,248.90 points or 2.58 per cent.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty jumped 119.20 points or 0.80 per cent to 14,942.35 – taking its total gains over the four days to 445.85 points or 3.07 per cent.

On Monday, L&T was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying over 4 per cent, followed by Dr Reddy’s, Sun Pharma, NTPC, PowerGrid, IndusInd Bank, ONGC and M&M.

On the other hand, UltraTech Cement, Infosys, Reliance Industries, HCL Tech and Axis Bank were five losers among the 30 shares.

Sectorally, BSE metal, capital goods, healthcare, power, utilities and industrials indices rose up to 3.53 per cent, while IT was in the red.

Broader midcap and small-cap indices rallied up to 0.97 per cent.

“Domestic equities continued to defy concerns of rising Covid-19 cases and extended mobility restrictions by several states by extending gains for the fourth consecutive trading day,” said Binod Modi Head-Strategy at Reliance Securities.

India registered 408,331 new infections on Friday, setting yet another record for the world’s largest single-day total, to take its total tally of infections past 19 million.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul ended on a positive note, while Hong Kong was in the red.

Stock exchanges in Europe were largely trading with losses in mid-session deals.

The rupee rose by 16 paise to close at more than one-month high of 73.35 against the US dollar on Monday, marking its third straight session of gains on the back of positive domestic equities and weak American currency.

The local unit finally settled at 73.35, registering a gain of 16 paise over its previous close. On Friday, the rupee had settled at 73.51 against the American currency.

The rupee has strengthened by 56 paise in the three sessions to Monday.

“The Indian rupee appreciated amid weakness in dollar and rise in risk appetite in the global markets. Market sentiments improved on speculation that US Federal Reserve will maintain its ultra-low interest rates for quite some time,” said Saif Mukadam, Research Analyst, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.09 per cent to 90.15.

The rupee may slip on concern that rising Covid-19 cases in India and lockdown restriction in some states may hurt economic recovery. Traders fear that worsening situation in India may put pressure on central government to announce nationwide lockdown for few days to curb outbreak, Mukadam said.

According to Sriram Iyer, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities, the rupee appreciated against the US dollar on Monday tracking the weaker dollar as weaker-than-expected US jobs data elevated hopes that the Federal Reserve could maintain its current level of bond purchases for an extended period of time.

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