Sensex and Nifty closed higher for the second consecutive day on Thursday, amid positive global European and Asian equities. Positive news around the development of a potential coronavirus vaccine also helped gain momentum in equity markets worldwide.
Led by gains in IT and auto stocks, Sensex closed 429 points higher at 35,843 and Nifty rose 121 points to 10,551. Yesterday, benchmarks closed majorly bullish, with Sensex ending 498.65 points higher at 35,414.45 and Nifty settling 127.95 points higher at 10,430.05.
The gain in the sector was in line with broader indices that rose on the back of buoyed Asian and European equities. Equity markets across the globe were upbeat today as positive macroeconomic data flow and hopes for success of COVID-19 vaccine boosted investor sentiment.
The COVID-19 vaccines developed by German biotech firm BioNTech and the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have shown potential and was found to be well tolerated in early-stage human trials testing of 45 people.
ONGC, followed by M&M, IndusInd Bank, HDFC Bank, SBI and Titan were among the top gainers in the Sensex pack. On the other hand, Tech Mahindra and HUL were the top laggards. Sectorally, auto and IT indices gained the most and closed over 2.8% and 2.6%, respectively. Barring PSU Bank and realty stocks, all the other sector-based indices closed in green territory.
Expressing views over today's session, Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services said, "The Indian indices traded in sync with global cues and ended the day with gains, supported by IT and Auto indices. Global indices were positive following news of encouraging trials of a vaccine being developed for the virus. Global markets are awaiting US employment figures, due out later today, to see the progress of the US economy and its resultant impact on global economic growth. Indian benchmark indices have sustained their momentum while upsides seem to be limited."
Domestic benchmarks gained majorly in the afternoon session, with European indices reversing from downward trend and opening in green as investor sentiments strengthened after Pfizer reported encouraging vaccine test results.
All major Asian indices traded higher on Thursday, tracking gains from Wall Street, banking on hopes of a vaccine for COVID-19. However, sentiments were cautious ahead of US employment data release.
"On technicals terms, Nifty index managed to surpass the critical hurdle of 10,550 levels," said Ajit Mishra, VP - Research, Religare Broking and added that the index was eyeing 10,700 levels now.
On the currency front, Rupee, the local currency ended at 75.01 per US dollar against Wednesday's close of 75.59 per US dollar.
On rupee's near term outlook, Anuj Gupta (DVP-Commodities & Currencies Research, Angel Broking said, "Today, Rupee is trading above 3 months high and trading at 74.88 levels on expectations of positive outcome over India-China tension, positive equity markets and expectations of recovery from the potential covid-19 vaccine. We expect Rupee may trade positive further and it may test 74.70 to 74.50 levels towards appreciation."
Worldwide, the number of cases linked to COVID-19 crossed 1.06 crore, while the death toll topped 5.15 lakh. In India, the number of infections spiked to 6,04,641, according to the health ministry. Death toll from the infection rose to 17,834.