Stocks opened weak but recovered quickly taking cues from Asian peers. At 9:22 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 525.11 points or 1.97% at 27,199.14. The Nifty 50 index was up 143.45 points or 1.84% at 7,944.50.
The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.69%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.46%. Both these indices under preformed the BSE Sensex.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On the BSE, 424 shares rose and 414 shares fell. A total of 41 shares were unchanged.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, 24 March 2020, called for a nationwide lockdown starting midnight. The duration of the lockdown will be 21 days, added Modi. Modi said the 21-day lockdown was necessary to break the chain of the COVID-19 virus, adding that "social distancing is the only option to combat the virus outbreak".
Stocks in news:
Nestle India rose 2.44%. Nestle India said that in view of the lockdown the operations in some of the locations (manufacturing, distribution centres/ warehouses, offices, suppliers) are scaled down or suspended. As the Company is in the manufacture and sale of food and beverage products, the company is in discussion with the authorities to continue operations in the factories/ distribution centres where the operations has been suspended.
Ircon International was up 3.63%. Ircon International said the company has fixed 7 April 2020 as the record date, to ascertain the name of shareholders entitled for sub-division of equity shares of Rs 10 each into five (5) equity shares of face value of Rs 2 each.
Torrent Pharmaceuticals fell 0.66%. Torrent Pharmaceuticals informed that the secured redeemable non-convertible debentures (NCDs) of Rs 240 crore has been fully redeemed and repaid by the Company on 24 March 2020.
Rallis India was down 1.13%. Rallis India has, effective 24 March 2020, commenced safe shutdown activities at its manufacturing operations located at Lote, Ankleshwar and Dahej. The duration of this shutdown is uncertain at this point in time and the resumption of operations at these locations will depend upon the directives issued by the respective Government authorities.
India Grid Trust slumped 2.20%. India Grid Trust (IndiGrid) announced the acquisition of another transmission asset, East North Interconnection Company Limited (ENICL), from Sterlite Power at a value of US $ 134 Mn. With this acquisition, IndiGrid's AUM will increase by 10% to US$ 1.6 Bn. IndiGrid's asset portfolio will increase to nine power transmission projects, with a total network of 20 power transmission lines spanning across more than 5,800 circuit kilometres across 13 Indian states.
Overseas, Asian markets extended their gains on Wednesday as the US Congress appeared to be close to a deal on a roughly US$2 trillion stimulus package to battle the coronavirus, which set off a historic surge in US equities.
In US, stocks on soared Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average notching its biggest one-day point gain ever and its best percentage gain since 1933, a day after plumbing the lowest levels since 2016, amid growing optimism that Congress will come to an agreement on a fiscal stimulus package aimed at combating the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic.
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