Domestic stock markets started Thursday’s session on a positive note, extending gains a day after benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty spiked more than 1 per cent on hopes of a pickup in economic activity. The Sensex index opened 189.55 points – or 0.54 per cent – higher at 35,604.00, and the broader Nifty 50 benchmark started the day at 10,493.05, up 63 points from its previous close. At 9:19 am, the Sensex traded 269.20 points (0.76 per cent) higher at 35,683.65, while the Nifty was up 76.50 points (0.73 per cent) at 10,506.55.
Equities in other Asian markets moved higher, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside of Japan last seen trading 0.9 per cent higher and all major indices also trading higher on hopes of a vaccine for COVID-19, which has killed more than half a million people globally and shut down the world economy.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark rose 0.4 per cent, China’s blue-chip index added 0.6 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 1.7 per cent.
The E-Mini S&P 500 futures were unchanged at the time, indicating a flat start for US markets on Thursday.
US employment figures due later in the day are expected to show if the world’s largest economy can sustain its fragile recovery as new COVID-19 cases accelerate in several southern states.
Overnight in the US, benchmark indices rose after key economic indicators showed a rebound in Chinese manufacturing activity as it recovers from the pandemic while sharp declines in European factory activity eased.
Manufacturing activity in India contracted for a third straight month in June, but at a much shallower pace, as demand and output continued to suffer from three months of lockdowns to quell the spread of the coronavirus, a private survey showed.
While the Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by IHS Markit, increased to 47.2 last month from 30.8 in May it was still below the 50-mark separating growth from contraction. Analysts polled by news agency Reuters had expected 37.5.
The coronavirus has infected over half a million people in the world’s second-most populous nation, stalling economic activity, but Wednesday’s survey suggested the worst may be over for the economy, at least for now.
On Wednesday, the Sensex had ended 498.65 points – or 1.43 per cent – higher at 35,414.45, and the Nifty settled at 10,430.05, up 127.95 points – or 1.24 per cent – from its previous close.