The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes held on to gains in noon deals on the back of strong global cues. Asian share markets followed Wall Street higher on Tuesday as the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at record highs on Monday as Chinese workers and factories slowly returned to business following a Lunar New Year holiday that was protracted by the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The Sensex surged as much as 465 points to hit an intraday high of 41,444 and the NSE Nifty 50 index touched an intraday high of 12,172 led by gains in Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, Maruti Suzuki, ITC, Axis Bank and State Bank of India.
As of 12:39 pm, the Sensex traded 314 points or 0.8 per cent higher at 41,294 and the NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.85 per cent or 103 points at 12,134.
Worries over the coronavirus kept market participants on edge, with the death toll rising to 908 and the World Health Organization (WHO) warning that new cases outside of China could be “the spark that becomes a bigger fire.”
Back home, all the 19 sector gauges compiled by BSE, barring the S&P BSE IT index, were trading higher led by the S&P BSE Metal index’s 1.5 per cent gain. S&P BSE Utilities, Auto, Power, Energy, Bankex and Basic Materials sector gauges also rose between 0.85-1.4 per cent each.
Mid- and small-cap shares were underperforming their larger peers as the S&P BSE MidCap index rose 0.3 per cent while the S&P BSE SmallCap index was little changed.
GAIL India was top gainer in the Nifty 50 basket of shares, the stock rose 5.5 per cent to Rs 128.45 after its profit rose 18 per cent sequentially to Rs 1,251 crore.
JSW Steel, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Hindalco, NTPC, Bharti Infratel, Power Grid, Zee Entertainment, Adani Ports and UltraTech Cement were also up between 1.6-3.8 per cent each.
On the flipside, Yes Bank, Britannia Industries, TCS, Coal India, Nestle India, Sun Pharma and Wipro were among the notable losers.
The overall market breadth was neutral as 1,115 shares were advancing while 1,125 were declining.
(With inputs from Reuters)