Sensex, Nifty rise after more plans to unlock economy, Reliance boost

Indian shares rose on Monday as the government further eased coronavirus restrictions and a $3.38-billion deal by conglomerate Reliance to expand its retail presence provided a boost.

The federal home ministry on Saturday reopened underground train networks and allowed sports and religious events in a limited manner from next month. India on Sunday reported the biggest single-day jump in coronavirus infections of any nation in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“(The further easing of restrictions) is having a major impact… many state governments have this time agreed to what the centre has said,” said AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital in Mumbai. “Inter-district movement was a very big pain, and was stopping doing business,” he added.

By 0512 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.72% at 11,731.30 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex had gained 0.73% to 39,752.74.

Broader Asian markets were also higher on positive sentiment that monetary and fiscal policies globally would stay super stimulatory.

However, June-quarter gross domestic product data for the country is expected to show that the world’s fifth-largest economy suffered its largest quarterly slump on record. Data is expected at around 1200 GMT.

In Mumbai, oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd boosted the Nifty 50 index, rising 1.5% after the company on Saturday agreed to buy Future Group’s retail and other businesses for $3.38 billion. Shares of Future Enterprises Ltd rose about 5%.

The Nifty energy index rose 1.7%, with refiner Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd gaining 5.7%.

Eicher Motors Ltd and JSW Steel Ltd were among the top laggards on the Nifty 50 index, falling 1.8% and 1.7% respectively.

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