Domestic benchmark indices on Wednesday rallied nearly 2% higher as the market remained optimistic after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an economic stimulus package of Rs 20 lakh crore amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The BSE Sensex surged 1,470 points in opening trade while the National Stock Exchange Nifty 50 rose by 9,500. However, both the indices shed their initial gains soon. At closing, the Sensex fell over 800 points from the day’s high to end 2% higher, or 637.49 points, at 32,008.61. Nifty 50 gained 187 points or 2% to end at 9,383.6.
The markets closed minutes before Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the media to give details of the Rs 20-lakh-crore economic package.
In his address to the nation on Tuesday evening, Modi said the economic package will make India self-sufficient. “The package worth Rs 20 lakh crore is 10% of India’s GDP [Gross Domestic Product],” Modi had said. The package also includes the government’s recent announcements to support some key sectors as well as recent measures rolled out by the Reserve Bank of India. “In this package, land, labour, liquidity and law have been emphasised.” He said the package is meant for micro, small and medium enterprises, for farmers, labourers and businesses.
Banking stocks made major gains. Axis Bank, Ultra Cement, L&T, ICICI Bank and State Bank of India were the top gainers on Sensex. Among the top gainers on the NSE in early trade were ICICI Bank, L&T, M&M, Maruti and Hero MotoCorp. Maruti Suzuki closed 1% higher after the company reported a 28% year-on-year decline in its net profit for the January-March period.
The rupee opened at 75.30 against the US dollar. The domestic currency gained 22 paise against the US currency from Tuesday’s closing. At closing, the rupee was appreciated by 5 paise to end at 75.46 against the US dollar.