Equity benchmark Sensex rallied 420 points on Thursday, led by stellar gains in IT major Infosys, even as global markets faced selling pressure amid spiking coronavirus cases.
After a choppy start, the 30-share BSE Sensex gained momentum towards the end of the session. It finally closed 419.87 points, or 1.16 per cent, higher at 36,471.68.
Similarly, the NSE Nifty surged 121.75 points, or 1.15 per cent, to end at 10,739.95.
Infosys was the top performer in the Sensex pack, rallying 9.56 per cent, a day after the IT major posted a stronger-than-expected 12.4 per cent rise in first quarter consolidated net profit to Rs 4,272 crore.
M&M, Nestle India, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank, HCL Tech, Bajaj Finance and Axis Bank were the other gainers, spurting up to 3.81 per cent.
On the other hand, Tech Mahindra, ITC, NPTC, PowerGrid, Titan and ICICI Bank finished with losses of up to 2.54 per cent.
According to traders, rally in IT stocks led by Infosys kept investor sentiment positive, but a massive selloff in Chinese stocks and concerns over recovery amid rising COVID-19 cases induced volatility in the session.
Bourses in Shanghai plunged 4.50 per cent as investors seemed disappointed with the pace of recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.
China’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 3.2 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2020, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics said earlier in the day.
Following negative cues from Chinese equities, benchmarks in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended on a weak note.
Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading in the red in early deals. “In spite of negative global cues, Indian benchmark indices gained strength as the day went on, powered by the IT index and Infosys in
particular. Infosys reported better than expected numbers and was backed by good deal wins and decent outlook.
“Ground realities remained little changed, as the virus infections and geopolitical tensions created uncertainty on the global economic recovery. Investors need to remain stock specific and the earnings results and commentary should be watched out for,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
BSE IT, teck, healthcare, bankex, auto, oil and gas, finance and metal indices surged up to 4.14 per cent, while telecom, power and utilities indices closed lower.
The BSE mid-cap index rose 0.71 per cent, while the small-cap gauge slipped 0.13 per cent.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude futures fell 0.71 per cent to USD 43.48 per barrel.
In the forex market, the rupee settled 3 paise lower at 75.18 against the US dollar.
The number of COVID-19 cases around the world has crossed 1.35 crore.
In India, the number of infections spiked to 9.68 lakh on Thursday, according to the health ministry.