Sensex rises over 200 pts; RIL soars over 7 pc

Mumbai, Apr 22 (PTI) Equity benchmark Sensex rose over 200 points in opening trade on Wednesday lifted by strong gains in index heavyweight Reliance Industries even as weak cues from global markets weighed on overall market sentiment.

After hitting a high of 30,856.14, the 30-share index was trading 130.78 points or 0.43 per cent higher at 30,767.49.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty advanced 17.50 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 8,998.95.

Reliance Industries (RIL) was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying over 7 per cent, after Facebook announced an investment of USD 5.7 billion (Rs 43,574 crore) to buy a 10 per cent stake in Jio Platforms.

This deal makes Facebook the largest minority shareholder in Jio Platforms, which is part of Reliance Industries.

Sun Pharma, Asian Paints, Maruti, Ultratech Cement and Infosys were also trading on a positive note.

On the other hand, ONGC, PowerGrid, Bajaj Finance, IndusInd Bank and HDFC were among the laggards.

In the previous session, the BSE barometer ended 1,011.29 points or 3.20 per cent lower at 30,636.71, while the Nifty plummeted 280.40 points, or 3.03 per cent, to 8,981.45.

Foreign portfolio investors were net sellers in the capital market on Tuesday, as they offloaded equity shares worth Rs 2,095.23 crore, according to provisional exchange data.

According to traders, domestic market was lifted by heavy buying on RIL counter after the USD 5.7 billion Facebook deal.

Broader market sentiment, however, remained weak as concerns over coronavirus pandemic weighed on global investor mood, they said.

BSE midcap and smallcap indices were trading in the red.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading with heavy losses in early deals.

On Wall Street, key indices crashed up to 3 per cent in overnight session.

The death toll due to the pandemic rose to 640, while the number of cases in the country climbed to 19,984.

Global tally of the infections has crossed 25 lakh, with over 1.77 lakh deaths.

Meanwhile, the rout in global oil prices continued, with Brent crude futures plunging 13.30 per cent to USD 16.76 per barrel.

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