Sensex up 150 points, Nifty hovers near 10,600-mark; IT, auto stocks gain

The benchmark equity indices trimmed some of their intraday gains and continued to trade around 0.5 per cent higher in the early afternoon trade on Friday aided by gains in the shares of information technology (IT) and automobile firms.

After touching a high of 36,110.21 during the morning, the 30-share BSE benchmark was trading 167.48 points (0.47 per cent) higher at 36,011.18 at 12:50 pm.

The Nifty 50, on the other hand, was trading at 10,602.10, up 50.40 points (0.48 per cent). During the intraday trade, the 50-share NSE index had touched a high of 10,631.30.

On Thursday, the Sensex had rallied 429.25 points (1.21 per cent) to end at 35,843.70, while the Nifty had settled at 10,551.70, rising 121.65 points (1.17 per cent).

In the afternoon deals, Bharti Airtel was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, followed by Power Grid, Bajaj Auto, Axis Bank, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Titan Company. On the other hand, HDFC Bank, Ultratech Cement, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Tata Steel, IndusInd Bank and Nestle India were among the worst performers. (see heatmap below)

Sensex stocks at 12:57 pm. (Source: BSE)
Among the sectoral indices on NSE, the Nifty IT index was trading nearly 0.75 per cent higher led by MindTree, Mphasis and TCS. The Nifty Auto index to was up over 0.5 per cent driven by Bharat Forge and Tata Motors.

The rupee appreciated 44 paise to 74.60 against the US dollar in early trade on Friday tracking weakness in the greenback and gains in the domestic equity market amid optimism over potential COVID-19 vaccine.

Forex traders said investors were bullish on emerging market assets following encouraging vaccine test results. Moreover, positive domestic equities, steady crude oil prices and weak US currency supported the local unit.

The rupee opened at 74.60 against the US dollar, registering a jump of 44 paise over its previous close.

It had settled at 75.04 against the greenback on Thursday.

Global markets
Asian shares rallied to a four-month high on Friday on robust US payrolls data and a brisk pickup in Chinese service sector activity, but a surge in coronavirus cases in the United States kept a lid on stronger gains.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.66 per cent, reaching the highest level since late February, while Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.40 per cent.

Mainland Chinese shares, which were among the best performers over the past month, extended gains, with the Shanghai composite index hitting a high last seen in April 2019.