The excitement over the possibility of a covid-19 vaccine wore off at the end of the day’s trade on Tuesday with benchmark indices closing nearly 1% higher, after rallying 2.34% during the day. However, the increasing number of covid-19 cases in India kept investors wary. The BSE Sensex ended at 30,196.17, up 167.19 points, or 0.56%, while the 50-share index Nifty was at 8,879.10, up 55.85 points, or 0.63%.
Stock markets in other Asian regions were also up after Moderna reported ‘positive’ early trials for a covid-19 vaccine. Stocks in Japan, Hong Kong, China and Korea gained 1-2%. The biotech company said after two doses all 45 clinical trial participants had developed coronavirus antibodies.
Meanwhile in India, confirmed infections crossed the 100,000 mark, with no signs of slowing down. Additionally, as stimulus measures were seen to be inadequate to boost demand in the short term, adding to the uncertainties, investors were cautious.
“Initially, the bias was on the positive side, thanks to firm global cues; however, selling pressure in index majors mainly from the banking pack pared the gains as the session progressed. The mixed trend was witnessed on the sectoral front wherein telecom, auto and IT managed to post decent gains, while capital goods and realty ended with losses," said Ajit Mishra, vice-president, research, Religare Broking Ltd.
The biggest index gainer was telecom. A robust rally in Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone-Idea Ltd shares drove the telecom index over 10%. Bharti Airtel shares gained over 11%. It joined the club of top five most valued companies, replacing Infosys Ltd and HDFC Ltd.
Bharti posted loss of ₹5,237 crore in the March quarter, primarily on account of making provisions to pay statutory dues. However, it had reported strong ARPU after the recent tariff hike and healthy 4G subscriber additions.
It had increased tariffs by 40% in December 2019.
Meanwhile, the rupee strengthened by 27 paise, or 0.36%, to close at 75.64 against the dollar on Tuesday.