Lockdown exit optimism helps India stocks extend winning streak; rupee up
June 02 2020 12:03 AM
Lockdown india
Elevators travel next to electronic boards displaying stock figures at the National Stock Exchange of India building in Mumbai. The Sensex closed at 33,303.52, up 879.42 points or 2.71% and the Nifty was at 9,826.15, up 245.85 points or 2.57% yesterday, marking their longest winning streak since April 30.

Bloomberg, Reuters/Mumbai

Indian stocks climbed for a fourth day after the government unveiled steps to start easing the nationwide lockdown. The BSE Sensex ended at 33,303.52, up 879.42 points or 2.71% and the Nifty was at 9,826.15, up 245.85 points or 2.57%, marking their longest winning streak since April 30. 
Both indexes slid 3% last month after April’s rebound from record losses on March 23, when the lockdown began. 
The sentiment was bolstered by the buoyancy in Asia, where stocks rose after US President Donald Trump on Friday stopped short of specifying sanctions over China’s new national security law for Hong Kong.
India plans a phased lifting by allowing malls, restaurants and places of worship to open from June 8, as the country attempts to revive an economy ravaged by the world’s toughest stay-at-home curbs. The stringent rules will be limited to areas that have a large number of active cases, until at least June 30.
“Opening up the economy is compulsory to manage the coming contraction in growth even as virus cases continue to rise,” said Chokkalingam G, head of investment advisory at Equinomics Research & Advisory Pvt in Mumbai. “Not opening up the economy will lead to an unmanageable ;crisis.”
Economists are betting on contraction in India’s gross domestic product in the fiscal year through March 2021, which would be the first decline in more than four decades. The nation’s GDP expanded 3.1% in the March quarter compared with a year ago, the government said in a report Friday. That was higher than the 1.6% median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
The yield on most-traded 6.45% 2029 notes was up 2 basis points to 6.03%, while the rupee strengthened by 0.4% to 75.3075 per US dollar.
All of 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd advanced, led by a measure of consumer durables stocks. Bajaj Finance Ltd and Titan Co were among the top gainers on the benchmark index.
Meanwhile the rupee jumped sharply against the US dollar yesterday, supported by strong domestic equity markets and government’s reopening plan for the domestic economy. 
Opening at 75.35 per US dollar, the rupee then gained further ground to touch 75.29, as compared to the previous close of 75.62. The rupee settled 8 paise higher at 75.54 per US dollar. The government has announced a phased exit from two-month lockdown, starting yesterday.
The Sensex ended about 900 points higher today as stocks climbed for a fourth day, buoyed by steps to start easing the nationwide lockdown. The government plans a phased lifting by allowing malls, restaurants and places of worship to open from June 8. “Rupee ended over two-week high yesterday on likely overseas inflows into local stocks after government announced plans for phased re-opening of the economy also a weakening greenback kept the dollar prices weak which helped Rupee. FII inflows into equities and soft dollar led a fall in spot USD/INR. 
Foreign banks were on sell-side as well but short covering was also witnessed as the prices took support near 75.30. Overall broad range sill seem intact of 75.30-76.10 for USD/INR pair,” said Jateen Trivedi, Senior Research Analyst (Commodity & Currency) at LKP Securities.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market, as they bought equity shares worth Rs1,460.71 crore on Friday, according to provisional exchange data.
“Overall global risk sentiment is positive. From today onwards, Indian banks will be able to participate in offshore NDF markets. Asian currencies are stronger, tracking Yuan strength. Asian equities too are trading positive,” Abhishek Goenka, founder and CEO at IFA Global.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell by 0.38% to 97.96.
Meanwhile, India’s GDP growth tumbled to 3.1% in the March quarter, the slowest pace since the global financial crisis more than a decade back. In 2019-20, the Indian economy grew by 4.2%, the slowest in 11 years.

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