Sensex, Nifty Register Third Weekly Gain In A Row

Domestic stock markets extended gains to a third straight session on Friday tracking global equities. The S&P BSE Sensex index rose as much as 0.74 per cent – or 266.51 points – to 36,110.21 during the session, having started the day above the 36,000 mark in a gap-up opening. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark strengthened to as high as 10,631.30 compared to its previous close of 10,551.70. Gains in IT, energy and automobile shares supported the markets, however losses in metal and select financial stocks limited the upside. 

The Sensex ended 168.57 points – or 0.47 per cent – higher at 36,012.27, and the Nifty settled at
10,607.35, up 55.65 points – or 0.53 per cent – from its previous close. For the week, the Sensex added 850.15 points (2.36 per cent) and the Nifty gained 224.35 points (2.12 per cent).

Total COVID-19 infections in India jumped by a record 20,903 cases to 625,544, including 18,213 deaths, health ministry data showed on Friday, days after the government eased lockdown rules to revive the economy.

“People on the ground have started realising that many people in their first degree of connection are now coming down with COVID-19, and the fear of what another lockdown will do to industries is the biggest overhanging worry for investors,” said Nikhil Kamath, co-founder and chief investment officer, Zerodha.

Reliance Industries shares rose more than 1 per cent to their highest since June 22, after the conglomerate said US-based Intel Corporation’s investment arm will buy a 0.39 per cent stake in its digital services unit, Jio Platforms, for Rs 1,894.50 crore.

Both benchmark indices have rebounded sharply from a COVID-19-led crash in March, but remain around 13 per cent lower for the year.

Shares in other Asian markets moved higher after robust data from the US and China bolstered hopes of a global economic rebound, but a record spike in domestic coronavirus cases capped gains.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.16 per cent higher, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark moved up 0.72 per cent.

China’s Shanghai Composite, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s KOSPI indices recorded gains of 2.01 per cent, 1.25 per cent and 0.80 per cent respectively.

Data showed China’s services sector in June expanded at the fastest pace in over a decade, and U. non-farm payrolls saw a better-than-expected jump.

The E-Mini S&P 500 futures were last seen trading up 0.12 per cent, indicating a positive start for US markets on Friday.

European shares started the day on a sluggish note, with the United Kingdom’s FTSE index last seen trading 0.04 per cent lower in early trade. France’s CAC index and Germany’s DAX benchmark were up 0.02 per cent and 0.12 per cent at the time.

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