Sensex rises 232 points; bank, auto stocks jump

Equity benchmark Sensex ended 232 points higher after a see-saw session on Wednesday, led by gains in banking, finance and auto stocks despite rising concerns over the country’s economic outlook as COVID-19 cases spike.

After swinging over 800 points during the day, the 30-share index closed 232.24 points or 0.74% higher at 31,685.75.

On similar lines, the NSE Nifty rose 65.30 points, or 0.71%, to finish at 9,270.90.

M&M was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying over 5%, followed by Bajaj Finance, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel and Hero MotoCorp.

On the other hand, ITC cracked over 5%. HUL, TCS, Titan and Infosys too ended in the red.

According to traders, economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, muted corporate earnings and weak macroeconomic data are keeping investors wary.

In India, the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 1,694 and the number of cases climbed to 49,391, according to the health ministry.

Globally, the number of cases linked to the disease has crossed 36.63 lakh and the death toll has topped 2.57 lakh.

Meanwhile, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul settled with significant gains, while those in Tokyo were closed for a holiday.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a cautious note in early deals.

International oil benchmark Brent crude futures were trading 1.65% higher at USD 31.48 per barrel.

On the currency front, the rupee depreciated 9 paise to close at 75.72 against the US dollar.

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