Sensex, Nifty rise on signs of slowing virus spread in hot spots; pharma shares jump
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares recorded their biggest single-day gain in over a decade on Tuesday on signs of progress against the coronavirus pandemic around the world, while pharma stocks gained as the government partially lifted export restrictions on some drugs.

The broader NSE Nifty 50 index ended 8.76% up at 8,792.20 while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was 8.97% higher at 30,067.21. Both the indexes posted their best intraday rise since May 2009.

Global markets rose for a second day and added to the cheer in domestic equities, as investors saw signs of progress against the coronavirus in both Europe and the United States.

In hardest-hit Italy and Spain, authorities have started looking ahead to easing lockdowns after steady falls in fatality rates, while the daily number of deaths in the United States' worst-affected area, New York, has also shown signs of steadying.

Meanwhile, India said it will allow limited exports of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine that US President Donald Trump has touted as a potential weapon in the fight against the coronavirus.

The move boosted the Nifty pharma index as much as 10.8%, its biggest percentage gain since January 2011. Generic drugmaker Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd rose nearly 13.5%.

However, IndusInd Bank was the day's top blue-chip gainer, rising as much as 25% followed by Axis Bank, which advanced 19.48%. The Nifty banking index jumped about 10.51%.

There were no laggards on the blue-chip index at close.

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