Equity indices gain ground, metal stocks shine

Mumbai: Equity benchmark gauges held firm during early hours on Wednesday led by a rally in metal and FMCG stocks amid positive global cues.

At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex edged higher by 405 points or nearly 1 percent to 41,621 while the Nifty 50 was up by 108 points at 12,216.

Most sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the positive terrain with Nifty metal and FMCG up by 1.2 percent each, financial service by 0.9 percent and auto by 0.5 percent.

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Among stocks, Vedanta gained by 1.9 percent at Rs 143.50 per share while Tata Steel moved up by 1.7 percent, and JSW Steel by 1.3 percent.

FMCG major Hindustan Lever advanced by over 3 percent at Rs 2,221.10 per share as Nestle India added gains of 1.2 percent. The other prominent gainers were Grasim, NTPC, Power Grid Corporation, HDFC and Axis Bank.

However, Yes Bank, IndusInd Bank, Bharti Infratel, GAIL and Dr. Reddy’s traded with a negative bias.

Meanwhile, Asian shares nudged higher amid hopes the worst of the coronavirus in China may have passed. Still, there was prevailing uncertainty about the outbreak which kept several investors wary.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was up by 0.31 percent. Chinese shares fell by 0.12 percent but shares in Hong Kong rose by 0.57 percent to a three-week high.

Japan’s Nikkei stock index rose by 0.6 percent. The market mood brightened after China’s senior medical adviser said on Tuesday the number of new coronavirus cases was falling in some provinces and forecast the epidemic would peak this month.

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