Mumbai: Market benchmark Sensex rallied 424 points on Wednesday, led by gains in financial stocks after the RBI unveiled a slew of measures to support the economy facing strong headwinds amid peaking second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 30-share BSE index jumped 424.04 points or 0.88 per cent to close at 48,677.55.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty surged 121.35 points or 0.84 per cent to 14,617.85.

Sun Pharma was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, soaring around 6 per cent, followed by Kotak Bank, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank, Dr Reddy’s, Titan and TCS.

On the other hand, Bajaj Finance, Asian Paints and HUL were the laggards.

“Domestic equities rebounded mainly supported by financials, IT and pharma. Notably, announcement of liquidity supports by the RBI’s Governor to tackle the challenges coming from second wave of COVID-19 crisis aided financials to rebound,” said Binod Modi, Head Strategy at Reliance Securities.

Earlier in the day, Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das announced a slew of support measures to help cushion the economic blow of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RBI has allowed certain individual and small borrowers more time to repay debt and allowed banks to give priority loans to vaccine makers, hospitals and COVID-related health infrastructure.

Barring FMCG, most key sectoral indices traded in green.

While elevated COVID-19 cases in several states and rising number of deaths are matters of concern, visible modest decline in new cases in many states including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat offers comfort, he said.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong ended on a negative note, while Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo were closed for holidays.

Equities in Europe were trading with significant gains in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 1.34 per cent higher at USD 69.80 per barrel.

Gold Declines Rs 317 On Muted Global Trends

Gold dipped Rs 317 to Rs 46,382 per 10 grams in the national capital on Wednesday, in line with a decline in the yellow metal’s prices overseas, according to HDFC Securities.

In the previous trade, the precious metal had closed at Rs 46,699 per 10 grams.

In contrast, silver jumped Rs 2,328 to Rs 70,270 per kilogram from Rs 67,942 in the previous trade.

In the international market, gold was trading marginally lower at USD 1,776 per ounce and silver was flat at USD 26.42 per ounce.

“Gold prices traded under pressure over stronger dollar and rise in US bond yields,” according to HDFC Securities, Senior Analyst (Commodities), Tapan Patel.

Rupee Snaps 2-Day Winning Streak, Ends 6 Paise Down At 73.91 Against Dollar

The rupee snapped its two-day winning streak and closed 6 paise lower at 73.91 (provisional) against the US dollar on Wednesday.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the domestic unit opened higher at 73.80, but failed to maintain the gains and fell to 74.04 before ending at 73.91, a loss of 6 paise over its previous close.

On Tuesday, the rupee had settled at 73.85 against the American currency. The domestic currency had gained 24 paise in the previous two days.

It hovered in a range of 73.80 and 74.04 per dollar during the day.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose by 0.02 per cent to 91.30.

A record 3,780 fresh COVID-19 fatalities were registered in a single day in India taking the death toll to 2,26,188, while 3,82,315 new coronavirus infections were recorded, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.

The rally in domestic equities restricted the fall in the rupee, a forex dealer said.

(This story is a compilation of 3 PTI stories)