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MUMBAI: Indian stock markets surged 1% at open on Monday, buoyed by the pick-up in vaccinations and falling cases in Maharashtra. Gains in Asian markets also boosted investor sentiment.

At 9.30am, the benchmark Sensex was up 1.1% at 48422.57 while the Nifty rose 1.3% to 14523.

Mumbai, the country's financial capital, recorded 5,542 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, its lowest single-day rise in infections so far this month. On Saturday, Mumbai had recorded 5,888 cases. In another positive, 8,478 people recovered, taking overall recoveries to 5,37,711.

Maharashtra, which is under lockdown-like curbs, has also been faring well with a consistent downward graph. It reported 66,191 cases on Sunday.

"Markets remained under pressure last week as rising COVID-19 cases nationwide and strict restrictions announced by several state governments dented sentiments. However, as the week progressed, favorable vaccine-related updates and supportive global markets capped the damage", said Ajit Mishra, VP Research. Religare Broking.

Despite mobility curbs, manufacturing and infrastructure activities have not halted yet and companied appeared to be proactive this time, convincing workers to stay back by offering basic amenities and facilities. Therefore, a large economic damage like last year is unlikely to happen, analysts expect.

"Going ahead, Indian markets are likely to continue with its volatility till COVID-19 cases continue its upward trajectory. Investors would continuously watch out government’s course of action along with progress on vaccination drive. Once the availability and the pace of vaccination picks-up and daily cases start subsiding, we expect the narrative to gradually shift from Covid-19 and restrictions back to fundamentals", said Siddhartha Khemka, Head - Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd.

Asian markets rose while investors look for clues on economic recovery and ahead of a US Federal Reserve meeting.

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