Domestic stock markets started Tuesday’s session on a positive note, extending recent gains to a fifth straight day, tracking Asian equities. The S&P BSE Sensex index opened 146.67 points higher at 33,450.19, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark started the day at 9,880.85, up 54.7 points from its previous close. Equities in elsewhere in Asia eked out gains despite weakness in Wall Street overnight. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 0.36 per cent higher in early trade.
Japan’s Nikkei 225, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s KOSPI indices were up 0.84 per cent, 0.34 per cent and 0.50 per cent respectively at the time, but China’s Shanghai Composite barometer was flat.
The E-Mini S&P 500 futures moved 0.50 per cent lower, indicating a negative start for US markets on Tuesday, as US President Donald Trump vowed to use force to end violent protests in American cities, souring a previously upbeat market mood.
Meanwhile, India is in the fifth phase of a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected economic activity and hampered businesses forcing them to trim workforce.
Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the country’s credit rating to “Baa3” from “Baa2”, a notch above junk, on Monday citing a prolonged period of slow growth in Asia’s third largest economy, rising debt and persistent stress in parts of its financial system.
The cut is not driven directly by the impact of the coronavirus but that the pandemic had amplified vulnerabilities in the country’s credit profile that were present and building prior to the shock, Moody’s said.
The agency maintained a negative outlook for the new sovereign rating, citing worsening government finances as the coronavirus continues to hurt the economy.
On Monday, the Sensex had ended 879.42 points – or 2.71 per cent – higher at 33,303.52, and the Nifty settled at 9,826.15, up 245.85 points – or 2.57 per cent – from its previous close.