Sensex surges 400 points, HUL, HDFC twins lead gains

Indian markets advanced today in tandem with their Asian peers, with benchmark index Sensex rising over 400 points in early trade. The broader Nifty regained 12,200. Among the Sensex stocks, HUL was the top gainer, rising over 4%. RIL, Asian Paints, HDFC Bank, HDFC, Nestle India Tata Steel, SBI, and ICICI Bank among the other top gainers.

Elsewhere, shares of IRCTC reversed early losses and were up 1% today. The company reports its Q3 earnings later today.

Siddhartha Khemka, head of retail research at Motilal Oswal Financial Services Private, said: “Global sentiment turned positive as a slowdown in the rate of new infections in the coronavirus outbreak provided some relief. Further Chinese workers and factories slowly returned to business following a Lunar New Year holiday that was extended due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak. Even oil prices rose after weeks of decline as China resumed business; however the market would assess demand situation in China over next few sessions.”

Asian shares were mostly higher higher today, although coronavirus continued to weigh on investor sentiments. Investor sentiments in Asia were also cheered somewhat by Wall Street, where modest gains overnight nudged the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to all-time highs for the second straight day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished essentially flat.

China reported 97 more deaths from the new disease, pushing the total dead past 1,100, even as the country remained largely closed down to prevent its spread. The number of cases worldwide is about 45,000, all but a few hundred in China.

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