Indian Stocks Rebound as Traders’ Bottom Fishing Spurs Advance
An employee looks at a computer monitor at a brokerage firm in Mumbai. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Indian Stocks Rebound as Traders’ Bottom Fishing Spurs Advance

Indian stocks rose the most in a week, lead by a rebound in lenders, as investors rushed to buy a correction in stocks, spurred by the world’s biggest daily spike in coronavirus cases.

The S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.8% at 48,080.67 in Mumbai, after closing at its lowest level since end-January on Tuesday. The market was shut on Wednesday for a local holiday. Still, the Sensex has lost about 8% from its recent peak on Feb. 15, nearing losses read as a technical correction. The broader NSE Nifty 50 Index also gained by a similar magnitude. The rupee pared declines.

“Focused buying in banks helped Nifty recover later in the day,” said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities. “Despite a surge in corona cases, traders went in for bottom fishing on the weekly options expiry day, reversing a streak of two-day loss.” The derivative contracts have the weekly expiry every Thursday.

Fourteen of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. gained, led by a gauge of banks. ICICI Bank Ltd. and HDFC Bank Ltd. were the biggest boosts on the Sensex. The rupee weakened 0.1% to 74.9550 per dollar, paring a decline of as much as 0.6% Thursday. It’s down 2.5% this month in Asia’s worst performance.

Indian Stocks Rebound as Traders’ Bottom Fishing Spurs Advance

The outlook for Indian assets has turned bearish as a spike in infections prompt cities from the financial hub Mumbai to the national capital New Delhi to bring in stringent restrictions on the movement of people. India, which has the world’s second-largest outbreak, reported 314,835 new cases Thursday.

Global funds have sold a net $716 million of local stocks in April after a six-month buying spree, helping make the Sensex this month’s biggest loser in Asia.

“We reiterate our cautious stance in the near term due to rising Covid cases,” said Ajit Mishra, vice president research at Religare Broking Ltd. “The updates from the state government’s plans to curb the rising cases would be on investors’ radar.;”

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