Sensex rises 167 pts; Bharti Airtel soars 11 pc

Mumbai, May 19 (PTI) Equity benchmark Sensex rose over 167 points on Tuesday led by gains in Bharti Airtel, HDFC and ITC amid positive cues from other Asian markets.

After rallying over 700 points in a volatile session, the 30-share index finished 167.19 points or 0.56 per cent higher at 30,196.17.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty advanced 55.85 points or 0.63 per cent to end at 8,879.10.

Bharti Airtel was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying around 11 per cent, followed by ONGC, UltraTech Cement, ITC, PowerGrid and NTPC.

On the other hand, IndusInd Bank, Reliance Industries, L&T and SBI were among the laggards.

Analysts said the average revenue per user (ARPU) increase speaks of Bharti Airtel’s ability to command a price premium in the market, given that competition in the mid/high-end subscriber base has now moved to network quality.

According to traders, hopes of a vaccine for COVID-19 enthused global investor sentiment.

In a significant development towards developing a vaccine for the coronavirus, an American biotechnology company Moderna has said its initial vaccine tests in people have shown promising results and can stimulate an immune response against the virus.

However, the rising number of cases in the country kept market participants on edge, traders said.

The number of COVID-19 cases in India spiked to 1,01,139, while the death toll rose to 3,163, according to the health ministry.

Globally, the number of cases linked to the disease has crossed 48 lakh and the death toll has topped 3.18 lakh.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul settled with strong gains.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a negative note in early deals.

International oil benchmark Brent crude futures were trading 0.63 per cent lower at USD 34.59 per barrel.

On the currency front, the rupee appreciated 25 paise to provisionally settle at 75.66 against the US dollar.