Indian Sensex Clocks Best Month Since 2009 as Lockdown to Ease

(Bloomberg) -- Indian stocks rose, capping their biggest monthly gain in a decade, on optimism over easing lockdown norms. Equities across Asia gained Thursday amid signs of progress in treating the coronavirus.

The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 3.1% at the close, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index added 3.2%. Both gauges have rebounded nearly 30% from March lows, but remain well below 2020 highs. Markets are shut on Friday for a holiday.

Reliance Industries Ltd., the nation’s biggest company by market value, and Hindustan Unilever Ltd. are due to report quarterly earnings today, while Reliance will also announce plans on its rights’ offer as the energy-to-technology conglomerate steps up efforts to pare debt. Seven of the Nifty 50 companies have posted earnings so far for the January to March period.

“The sentiment is positive now as the government has been talking about a stimulus focusing on mid and small-sized companies.” said Abhimanyu Sofat, head of research at IIFL Securities Ltd. in Mumbai. “If you do find there is significant improvement in people’s ability to go back to offices it will be a big positive because the curve of coronavirus cases isn’t going up.”

India’s home ministry Thursday allowed migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and others stranded at different places in the country because of the coronavirus lockdown, to go home. The nation has reported 33,062 Covid-19 infections, including 1,079 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The Numbers

  • Seventeen of 19 sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. climbed, let by a gauge of metal companies
  • Infosys Ltd. contributed the most to the Sensex advance, while Oil & Natural Gas Corp. Ltd. had the largest gain

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