After the Ministry of Home Affairs issued new guidelines for the extended Coronavirus lockdown that will remain in force till May 3, the stock markets surged. As of 10:50 am, the Sensex was trading at 31,539.31, entailing an almost 850-point jump from Monday's closing.
The government will allow opening up of some industries in rural areas after 20 April to reduce the distress caused people because of a prolonged lockdown to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. The government will also allow farm activities, construction of roads and buildings in the hinterland which has so far been less affected by the Coronavirus disease.
Equity benchmark Sensex jumped over 600 points in opening trade on Wednesday tracking gains in index-heavyweights Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank and L&T even as concerns over coronavirus-led economic blow mounted. After hitting a high of 31,400.36, the 30-share index was trading 639.83 points or 2.08% higher at 31,329.85.
On Monday, the BSE gauge Sensex closed 469.60 points or 1.51% lower at 30,690.02, while the NSE benchmark Nifty ended 118.05 points or 1.30% down at 8,993.85. Stock, commodity and money markets were shut on Tuesday on account of Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar Jayanti.
The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 377 while the number of cases in the country climbed to 11,439 on Wednesday, according to the Union Health Ministry. Global tally of the infections has crossed 19 lakh, with over 1.2 lakh deaths. Meanwhile, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo were in the red.
Stock exchanges on Wall Street ended significantly higher in overnight trade. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 1.35 per cent to USD 30 per barrel.
(with PTI inputs)