New Delhi: Indian equity markets on Wednesday had opened little changed but soon rose nearly 0.4% led by gains in auto and banking stocks.
At 9.40am, the benchmark Sensex was up 0.4% or 174.50 points to 40963.88, while Nifty gained 0.41% or 49.5 points to 12029.10.
Most auto stocks gained at open, buoyed by the monthly sales data, which was in line with expectations. Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, M&M, Apollo Tyres, Bajaj Auto gained 1-4%. TVS Motors gained 5%.
Among banking stocks, Axis Bank, Federal Bank, RBL Bank, Indusind Bank, SBI, HDFC Bank, Kotak rose 0.4-1.22%.
Index heavyweight Bharti Airtel gained 1% after the company reported narrowing of its losses quarter-on-quarter. For October-December, the telecom major reported a loss of ₹1,035 crore, less than the ₹23,145.60 crore loss posted in the September quarter.
Investors now await the next bi-monthly policy statement, due on 6 February, with the market keenly eyeing commentary on inflation and growth forecast. The RBI is widely expected to stand pat on rates, with the repo rate unchanged at 5.15% due to inflation trending higher, a Mint survey has found.
On Tuesday, the market had surged nearly 900 points largely because of fall in crude oil prices and improvement in manufacturing PMI data.
"We believe the budget has been a non-event and belied the lofty expectations. The government, however, has tried to balance growth concerns and fiscal prudence while providing relief to several segments e.g. tax relief for the middle-class and abolition of DDT. We believe the market’s focus should now revert to fundamentals, viz. corporate earnings growth and global cues around the spread of Coronavirus", said Motilal Oswal Research in a report to its investors.
The Indian rupee had opened marginally higher at 71.21 against the US dollar, up from its previous close of 71.27. The 10-year bond yield was marginally up at 6.516% compared with its previous close of 6.505%.
Asian stocks were steady with positive bias, while overnight, the Nasdaq hit a record high and the S&P 500 had its best day in six months as fears of a significant economic impact from the coronavirus epidemic tapered off after China’s central bank intervened for the second straight day.
China injected 1.7 trillion yuan ($242.74 billion) via reverse repo on Monday and Tuesday, helping Chinese stocks recover some losses and lifting the world equity index .
The stimulus boosted investor sentiment even as several economists cut forecasts for 2020 global growth as the fast-spreading virus hampers business operations in the world’s second-largest economy.
(Reuters and Bloomberg contributed this story)