Key equity benchmarks traded in narrow range with robust gains in mid-afternoon trade. At 13:29 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, jumped 1010.60 points or 3.54% at 29,546.38. The Nifty 50 index was up 229 points or 2.75% at 8,546.85.
In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 2.95% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index was up 3.18%.
The market breadth was positive. On the BSE, 1465 shares rose and 738 shares fell. A total of 161 shares were unchanged. In Nifty 50 index, 36 stocks advanced while 13 stocks declined. 1 stock remained unchanged.
Trading was volatile as traders roll over positions in the F&O segment from the near month March series to April series. The March 2020 F&O contracts expire today, 26 March 2020.
FM Media Briefing Highlights:
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that a package worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore is ready for the poor who need immediate help like migrant workers and urban and rural poor.
FM announced Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Ann Yojna (for next 3 months) in which 80 crore poor people (2/3rd of India's population) are covered. In addition to already allotted 5 kg of rice/wheat per person, an additional 5 kg will be allotted free.
Additional 1 kg pulse (according to regional preference) will be given.
FM added that 8.69 crore farmers will be immediately benefited through direct cash transfers. Installment of Rs 2,000 in the first week of April will be transferred, FM added.
For old age, divyang, pensioners (3 crore people covered), one-time amount of additional Rs 1000 in two installments through direct bank transfer (DBT) (hence no middlemen) over 3 months will be given.
FM announced an increase of Rs 2000 per worker on average as additional income in MGNREGA (5 crore families benefited).
FM said 20 crore women Jan Dhan Yojana account holders will get Rs 500 per month for the next three months.
The government will provide free LPG cylinders to woman beneficiaries of Ujjwala scheme. This will benefit 8.3 crore below poverty line (BPL) families.
FM also announced a Rs 50 lakh insurance per healthcare worker as a medical insurance cover for them for three months.
The Nifty Metal index slipped 0.25% to 1,537.30. The index rose 2.99% in the past two sessions.
Among the index constituents, Jindal Steel & Power (down 1.73%), JSW Steel (down 1.62%), Hindalco Industries (down 1.06%) and Steel Authority of India (down 0.68%) declined.
NMDC (up 5.51%), National Aluminium Company (up 4.17%), Hindustan Zinc (up 2.69%), Hindustan Copper (up 2.24%), Vedanta (up 1.01%) and Tata Steel (up 0.89%) advanced.
Stocks in Spotlight:
Strides Pharma Science fell 1.88% to Rs 313.65. The company's flagship facility, KRS Gardens in Bangalore, Karnataka which was inspected by the United States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) in March 2020, has received the Establishment Inspection Report (EIR), thereby confirming the successful closure of the inspections.
REC rose 3.29% to Rs 86.30 after the company said its board has approved a proposal to revise upward its borrowing for the current financial year to Rs 94,000 crore from the Rs 90,000 crore estimated earlier. Besides, the board has also approved an Rs 1.10 lakh crore market borrowing by the company during the next financial year 2020-21, the company said in an exchange filing made after market hours yesterday. The board also approved the launch of capital gains tax exemption bonds (Series XIV) under Section 54EC of the Income Tax Act, 1961, for raising funds on a private placement basis for an amount of Rs 2,500 crore with a green shoe option to retain oversubscription.
Vinati Organics surged 12.31% to Rs 778. The chemical maker has shut down its manufacturing operations at two Maharashtra-based plants due to outbreak of Corona Virus.
Numbers to Track:
In the foreign exchange market, the partially convertible rupee edged lower to 75.425 compared with its previous closing of 75.94.
The yield on 10-year benchmark federal paper fell to 6.232% at 14:26 IST compared with 6.304% in the previous trading session.
In the commodities market, Brent crude for May 2020 settlement was down $1.04 to $26.35 a barrel. The contract rose 0.88% or 24 cents to settle at $27.39 a barrel in Wednesday's trading session.
MCX Gold futures for 3 April 2020 settlement fell 0.04% to Rs 42200.
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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)