Vaccine hopes lift Sensex 290 points; mid, smallcaps rally post Sebi’s move

NEW DELHI: Resumption of vaccine trial by AstraZeneca boosted hopes of an early end to the pandemic and lifted investor sentiments on Monday, pushing the benchmark indices higher. AstraZeneca said on the weekend it has resumed British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most advanced in development, after getting the green light from safety watchdogs. A vaccine has long been awaited to help pull the world out of a coronavirus-induced lockdown.

At 09.37 am, BSE flagship Sensex was up 286.04 points or 0.74 per cent to 39,140.59 while NSE benchmark Nifty added 69.75 points or 0.61 per cent to 11,534.20. IT, media and realty stocks saw buying while some FMCG and pharma names were under pressure.

In the 30-share pack Sensex, HCL Tech was the biggest gainer, up 6.22 per cent at Rs 765.90. It was followed by Tech Mahindra, TCS, Reliance Industries, Infosys and HDFC that gained in the range of 1-3 per cent.

Sun Pharma was the biggest loser in the pack, down 1.07 per cent to Rs 500. Maruti Suzuki, Asian Paints, HUL, Bajaj Finance and Nestle India were among other major losers, falling in the range of 0-1 per cent.

Thanks to the Sebi’s move to revamp multicap fund rules, broader market indices were faring better than their headline peers as Nifty Smallcap advanced 3.89 per cent while Nifty Midcap added 2.07 per cent. Broadest index on NSE, Nifty 500 was up 0.96 per cent.
Nifty Realty was the biggest sectoral gainer on NSE, rising 2.51 per cent. It was followed by Nifty IT and Nifty Media, each of which gained about 2 per cent. Nifty FMCG slipped the most at 0.22 per cent.

Globally, Asian shares firmed on renewed hopes for a coronavirus vaccine after AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial though sentiment was still cautious ahead of a big week of central bank meetings in UK, Japan and the United States.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.7 per cent, poised for its second straight session of gains.

Australian shares climbed 0.6 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei added 0.7 per cent. Chinese shares started firm with the blue-chip index rising 0.6 per cent.

US stock futures, the S&P 500 e-minis, jumped more than 1 per cent after a mixed session on Wall Street last week.
Credit: Stocks-Markets-Economic Times

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