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Market breadth turns positive
25-Mar-20   13:32 Hrs IST
The domestic stock market surged in afternoon trade, tracking strong global shares. Investors lapped up shares after US policymakers reportedly cleared a $2 trillion stimulus package to fight against fast-spreading coronavirus. The Nifty was trading above the 8,200 mark.

At 13:31 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 1566.61 points or 5.87% at 28,240.64. The Nifty 50 index was up 444.30 points or 5.70% at 8,245.35.

Trading was volatile in morning trade as India entered into a 21-day lockdown starting 24 March midnight to curb the Covid-19 outbreak. The virus has infected more than 423,000 people and killed more than 18,900 across the world. More than 109,100 people have recovered. India has reported 11 deaths and over 562 cases so far.

Meanwhile, the media reported that US lawmakers have struck a $2 trillion stimulus deal to provide economic relief to American taxpayers and businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic, in what stands to be the largest congressional bailout in US history.

The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up over 400 points, pointing to a strong gain at the Wednesday open. European markets opened higher while Asian stock markets extended gains on Wednesday, following the news of US stimulus deal.

Back home, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 3.13% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index was up 1.96%.

The market breadth was positive. On the BSE, 1042 shares rose and 952 shares fell. A total of 141 shares were unchanged. In Nifty 50 index, the breadth was positive with 44 stocks advancing and 6 stocks declining.

India's forex and bond market are shut today on account of Gudi Padwa.

Stocks in Spotlight:

Axis Bank (up 14.99%), ICICI Bank (up 9.93%), Kotak Mahindra Bank (up 10%), Hindalco Industries (up 9.35%) and Maruti Suzuki India (up 9.15%) were the top gainers.

ITC (down 1.80%), Coal India (down 1.53%), Larsen & Toubro (down 1.40%), GAIL (India) (down 0.72%) and HCL Technologies (down 0.38%) were the major losers.

Reliance Industries (RIL) surged 9.99% to Rs 1037.35. According to the media reports, the social media giant, Facebook, was close to an initial agreement to pick up a 10% stake in Jio, but discussions could not advance due to the global disruption following the coronavirus outbreak. A deal was to have been announced by March end, reports added. Report suggested that a deal with Facebook will help Mukesh Ambani achieve his ambition of cutting parent company RIL's debt to zero by March 2021. Meanwhile, reports further added that Google had also been engaged in separate talks with Reliance Jio.

Bajaj Finance rose 2.76% to Rs 2554.30. The company informed that it has learned about a con-call invite allegedly scheduled on 24 March 2020 between Bajaj Finance and analysts/investors was in circulation. The company clarified that it did not schedule the con-call. The invite was fake and could have been circulated with malafide intent. Investors are hereby requested not to take cognizance of such false/fake circulation without verifying the same with the company or on websites of stock exchanges, it added.

ONGC fell 1.04% to Rs 61.85. Moody's Investors Service downgraded ONGC's local and foreign currency issuer ratings to Baa2 from Baa1. At the same time, Moody's has downgraded ONGC's baseline credit assessment (BCA) to baa2 from baa1; the senior unsecured bonds issued by ONGC to Baa2 from Baa1; the senior unsecured bonds guaranteed by ONGC and issued by ONGC Videsh and ONGC Videsh Vankorneft to Baa2 from Baa1. The outlook on all ratings remains negative.

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