Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex rebounded 375 points on Thursday, tracking gains in index majors ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Kotak Bank despite mounting COVID-19 cases in the country. After falling 501 points in opening session, the 30-share BSE index pared all losses to end 374.87 points or 0.79 per cent higher at 48,080.67.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty jumped 109.75 points or 0.77 per cent to 14,406.15. ICICI Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, surging over 3 per cent, followed by HDFC, Bajaj Auto, HDFC Bank, SBI, Kotak Bank and Bajaj Finance.
On the other hand, Titan, HUL, Asian Paints, Tech Mahindra and Nestle India were among the laggards. "In a volatile session, markets ended on a positive note despite the country recording its highest daily COVID spike as investors focused on broad basing of the vaccination program," said S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities.
Sharp bounce back in financials and favourable global cues supported the market's rebound, said Binod Modi, Head – Strategy at Reliance Securities. "Barring FMCG and IT, most of key sectoral indices traded positively. Notably, after seeing sharp rally in last couple of days, profit booking was seen today in many pharma counters. Volatility index hardened further by approximately 3 per cent," he added.
India registered over 3.14 lakh new coronavirus cases in a day, the highest-ever single-day count recorded in any country, taking the the total tally of COVID-19 cases in the country to 1,59,30,965. The oxygen crisis, precipitated by the second wave which has left tens of thousands hospitalised, appeared to intensify with complaints of shortage from several states.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended on a positive note, while Shanghai was in the red. Bourses in Europe were trading with gains in mid-session deals.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.51 per cent lower at $64.99 per barrel.