Indian stock indices extended their gains in midday trades and were set to close higher for the third day in a row on Wednesday, driven by strong buying interest in Bajaj Finance, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, ICICI Bank and Hindustan Unilever. The Sensex rose 525 points and the Nifty 50 index rose above its important psychological level of 14,800. Strong quarterly results from financial and banking companies are pushing stock markets higher, analysts say.
At 12:00 p.m., the Sensex was up 505 points or 1% to 49,450 and the Nifty 50 Index climbed 136 points to 14,789.
Both indices fell nearly 2% last week, as investors worried about the economic impact of a furious wave of COVID-19 cases and deaths. India added more than 1.2 million cases and 8,000 deaths in the week to April 23.
“Over the past two (to) three days, and particularly over the weekend, there have been some positives such as … the United States allowing the supply of COVID-19 materials and resources to India, and a drop in the number of active cases, especially in worst-affected states like Maharashtra, ”Gaurav Garg, head of research at CapitalVia Global Research, told Reuters news agency.
Investors also looked to the March quarterly earnings season, with blue chip companies such as consumer giant Hindustan Unilever and conglomerate Reliance Industries expected to release results later this week.
Meanwhile, eight of the 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading higher, driven by the 2.5% gain in the Nifty Auto Index. The Nifty PSU Bank, Bank, Financial Services and Private Bank indices also rose 1-2 percent.
In contrast, the metals, information technology and real estate indices traded with a negative bias.
Mid- and small-cap stocks also recorded buying interest, with the Nifty Midcap 100 index increasing 1% and the Nifty Smallcap 100 index advancing 0.9%.
Among individual stocks, Info Edge India, which owns a stake in food delivery service provider Zomato, rose 3.14% to an intraday high of Rs 5,100 on BSE after Zomato filed a draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) from Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to raise up to Rs 8,250 crore through the sale of shares via the initial public offering (IPO).
Bajaj Finance was Nifty’s top earner as the stock rose nearly 7% to an intraday high of Rs 5,215 after its March quarter net profit jumped 42% to Rs 1,346.64 crore.
Bajaj Finserv rallied 5% to hit an intraday high of Rs 10,615 ahead of its due profit later today.
Eicher Motors, Bajaj Auto, IndusInd Bank, State Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Bharti Airtel and Mahindra & Mahindra also rose 2-4%.
On the other hand, Hindalco, JSW Steel, Britannia Industries, SBI Life, Tata Steel, Axis Bank, HDFC Life and Nestle India were among the losers.
The overall scale of the market was positive as 1,781 stocks rose while 928 fell due to BSE.