Equities rise on accelerated vaccination drive

Mumbai, Apr 15 (IANS): Accelerated vaccination drive, along with healthy Q4FY21 results, pushed India's key benchmark equity indices higher on Thursday.

However, volatility was observed as rising Covid cases capped any major recovery attempts.

But a bout of late session buying spree pushed both the indices higher.

Globally, Asian shares were mixed on Thursday, dragged down by Chinese stocks as recent upbeat economic data raised fears of monetary policy tightening, while the dollar index struggled near one-month lows.

On the sectoral front, banks, pharma, metal and healthcare have shown some strength, while auto and IT sector were the top losers each shredding nearly 2 per cent.

Consequently, Sensex ended the day's trade at 48,803.68, higher by 259.62 points, or 0.53 per cent, from its previous close.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange closed at 14,581.45, up 76.65 points or 0.53 per cent from its previous close.

"Indian equity benchmark indices extended their rebound on April 15 even as investors remained nervous as a few states initiated stricter curbs amid a record-breaking Covid-19 second wave," said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.

"Nifty, after opening lower, came into positive territory for the day in the last hour of trade. At close, the Nifty 50 Index rose 0.53 per cent or 76.7 points to 14,581.5."

Siddhartha Khemka, Head, Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said: "Equity markets witnessed huge volatility in the first half with a negative bias but saw swift recovery in the second half of the day to close near days' high."

"Rising coronavirus infections in the country continues to worry the market, though a rapid rollout of vaccines somewhat allayed the concerns."

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said: "Market is becoming more cautious as states are increasing restrictions due to the havoc created by the virus. Growth-oriented sectors and stocks are losing momentum while defensives like pharma, FMCG and IT are gaining."

"However, states will not opt for a complete lockdown like last year, but high valuation will lead to a phase of short-term consolidation."



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