Sensex hits 46,000 for first time; Nifty crosses 13,500


Mumbai, dec 9: Indian shares touched a record high on Wednesday, driven by gains in heavyweight Reliance Industries, as hopes for vaccine approvals in the second worst coronavirus-hit country boosted investor sentiment.
Domestic stock markets extended a rally to scale new peaks on Wednesday, with the S&P BSE Sensex index crossing the 46,000 mark for the first time ever, amid optimism on a fast recovery from the coronavirus-caused economic slowdown.
The Sensex index jumped 397.17 points, or 0.87 per cent, to touch 46,005.68 at the strongest level recorded in afternoon deals, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark climbed to as high as 13,507.20, up 114.25 points, or 0.85 per cent, from its previous close -- both all-time highs.
Gains in financial, consumer goods, IT and energy shares pushed the markets higher. Consumer goods giant ITC Ltd climbed 2.3% to its highest since Aug. 11, while index heavyweight Reliance Industries Ltd added 1.1% and top private-sector lender HDFC Bank Ltd rose nearly 1%.
India’s federal health secretary said on Tuesday the country may approve some coronavirus vaccines over the next few weeks and an estimated 300 million people would be inoculated in the first tranche.
India has the world’s second-highest virus caseload behind the United States, but daily cases have stayed below the 50,000-mark since Nov. 8, despite a busy festival season that saw crowded markets and streets.
“The vaccine news is a sentiment booster. But it is gushing liquidity that is supporting markets, we are seeing risk-on sentiment building up globally,” said Aishvarya Dadheech, fund manager at Ambit Asset Management in Mumbai.
“I believe markets will see traction building over the next 1-1/2 to two years as the economy recovers from the pandemic,” Dadheech said.
Global equities traded higher on Wednesday, after Britain started mass-vaccinating its people using a fully-tested Covid-19 shot and as Johnson & Johnson said it could obtain late-stage trial results for a single-dose vaccine earlier than expected.

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