Benchmarks build on gains; auto, IT stocks take charge

Mumbai: Equity gauges Sensex and Nifty notched up gains for the second straight session on Thursday, boosted by hectic buying in auto, financial and IT counters amid firm global cues.
Participants cheered the US government’s decision to back waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, which can speed up the vaccination drive in India and other emerging economies, traders said.
The BSE benchmark Sensex closed higher by 272.21 points or 0.56 per cent at 48,949.76. In volatile trade, the 30-share index oscillated between a high of 49,011.31 and a low of 48,614.11 during the day.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty ended with gains of 106.95 points or 0.73 per cent at 14,724.80.
On the Sensex chart, Bajaj Auto, HDFC, Tech Mahindra, Infosys, Nestle India, Maruti and Titan emerged as the prominent gainers, advancing up to 2.61 per cent.
On the other hand, PowerGrid, ONGC, Asian Paints, Bajaj Finserv, IndusInd Bank, NTPC and Sun Pharma were the major laggards, dropping as much as 1.24 per cent.
Of the Sensex constituents, 20 shares ended with gains.
“The trend of positive news alternating with negative news continues. President Biden’s decision to back waiving intellectual property rights on vaccines is a big positive. This will quicken the vaccination process enabling countries like India to come out of the pandemic faster,” said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.
But data on daily infections indicate a rise after five days of decline, he said, adding lockdowns and restrictions on mobility are increasing, impacting the economic recovery.
New coronavirus cases and deaths in India hit a record daily high with 4,12,262 new infections and 3,980 fatalities being reported, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,10,77,410 and the death toll to 2,30,168, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.
Among the sectoral indices, BSE metal rose the most with 2.74 per cent gains. BSE auto climbed 1.81 per cent and IT gained 1.43 per cent. All 19 sectoral indices closed with gains.
In the broader market, the BSE midcap, largecap and smallcap indices outperformed the benchmark — rising as much as 0.91 per cent.
Elsewhere in Asia, barring China, bourses ended with gains as investors noted signs of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic impact.
On the forex market front, the rupee ended 13 paise higher at 73.78 against the US currency.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Wednesday as they sold shares worth Rs 1,110.50 crore, as per exchange data.


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