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Sensex Ends 748 Points Higher; Energy and Finance Stocks Rally
Tue, 4 Aug Closing

Indian share markets continued their momentum and ended on a strong note today.

The three-day Monetary Policy Committee meeting kicked off today, which could be driving the market sentiment amid hope for more measures to support the economy.

Majority of experts feel the MPC members may cut repo rate by another 25 bps on Thursday in addition to 115 bps cut in previous two meetings.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 748 points (up 2%).

The NSE Nifty closed higher by 211 points (up 1.9%).

The SGX Nifty was trading at 11,082, up by 171 points, at the time of writing.

The BSE Mid Cap index ended up by 1%.

The BSE Small Cap index ended up by 1.2%.

On the sectoral front, gains were largely seen in the energy sector and finance sector.

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IT stocks were under pressure today after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order restricting federal agencies from contracting or subcontracting foreign workers, hurting Indian IT professionals who work in the US on the H-1B visa.

Asian stock markets ended higher after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) maintained its current policy settings. Also, Australia's retail sales data for June showed 2.7% growth compared to May.

As of the most recent closing prices, the Hang Seng ended up by 2% and the Shanghai Composite stood higher by 0.1%. The Nikkei ended up by 1.7%.

The rupee was trading at 75.04 against the US$.

Gold prices are trading down by 0.2% at Rs 53,900 per 10 grams.

Speaking of the current stock market scenario, note that after over 2 years of lag, the smallcap index is beating Sensex in the post Covid rebound.

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Moving on, BPCL was among the top buzzing stocks today.

Shares of the company tanked over 6% today after media reports said the divestment of government's stake in the oil marketing company is unlikely to fructify in the current financial year.

Reportedly, the government expects BPCL stake sale to go beyond FY21 as delay in inviting bids to pick stake in the oil refiner will delay the entire process of divestment.

Market participants were also tracking VST Industries share price.

Shares of the company rallied as much as 11% today, a day after the company reported its June quarter numbers for the fiscal year 2020-21 (FY21).

The company reported net profit rose at Rs 757.1 million for the quarter under review as against Rs 756.8 million logged during the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

The company's sales, however, declined 19.4% to Rs 2,453.9 million as against Rs 3,044.5 million in the year-ago quarter.

In a separate filing to exchanges on the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the company's business operations, VST Industries said that the business operations were adversely impacted in the form of disrupted supply chain and decline in consumer demand.

"Since mid-May 2020, while the manufacturing operations have gradually started returning to normalcy, we estimate the pandemic to continue having its impact on sales," it said in the press release.

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In news from the economic space, India's economic recovery remains "fragile" due to rising number of coronavirus cases and states intermittently ordering lockdowns to contain the disease, said the Finance Ministry.

On July 30, the government issued guidelines for the third phase of lifting curbs imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease, removing night curfew outside containment zones and allowing gyms and yoga centres to reopen from August 5.

The guidelines said that schools, colleges, theatres, swimming pools, metro rail, cinema halls and bars will remain closed.

As per the ministry's monthly economic report, India is well on the path to a recovery from a trough in April, ably supported by proactive government and central bank policies. However, the increase in the Covid cases and subsequent intermittent lockdowns make the recovery prospects fragile and call for constant and dynamic monitoring.

The report further said that recovery is linked to how Covid-19 infections evolve across states. India's top 12 growth driving states account for 85% of the Covid-19 case load, with 40% of confirmed cases concentrated in the top two growth drivers i.e. Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

The report said that the worst for the economy seemed to be over as high frequency indicators showed a recovery in June compared to May and April.

Indicators include goods and service tax (GST) collections, electricity consumption, rail freight and passenger data, petrol and diesel consumption, and highway toll collections.

GDP figures of April-June quarter of 2020, slated to be released towards end of August, will throw some light on the expected recovery of the Indian economy.

We will keep you updated on the latest developments from this space. Stay tuned.

To know what's moving the Indian stock markets today, check out the most recent share market updates here.

For information on how to pick stocks that have the potential to deliver big returns, download our special report now!

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