Mumbai, Apr 17 (PTI) Equity benchmark Sensex rallied 986 points on Friday, led by gains in banking, energy and IT stocks after the Reserve Bank announced a slew of liquidity-boosting measures to support the economy during the coronavirus crisis.
The RBI further eased bad-loan rules, froze dividend payment by lenders and pushed banks to lend more by cutting the reverse repo rate by 25 basis points.
After starting over 1,116 points higher, the 30-share BSE benchmark pared some early gains to end 986.11 points or 3.22 per cent higher at 31,588.72.
Similarly, the NSE Nifty zoomed 273.95 points, or 3.03 per cent, to finish at 9,266.75.
Axis Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, surging over 13 per cent, followed by ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Maruti, TCS, Kotak Bank and Reliance Industries.
On the other hand, Nestle India, HUL, Tech Mahindra and Sun Pharma ended in the red.
Interest rate sensitive, banking, financial, auto and realty indices settled up to 6.83 per cent higher.
In his second televised address since the nationwide lockdown began on March 25, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das pledged to boost liquidity and expand bank credit.
He announced measures including a cut in the reverse repo rate, Rs 50,000-crore targeted long-term repo operations (TLTRO) and refinancing facilities for Nabard, Sidbi and NHB.
The rupee rebounded 48 paise to provisionally settle at 76.39 against the US dollar, buoyed by RBI announcements.
Market ended on a firm note tracking positive global cues and announcement of stimulus package by the RBI, said Sanjeev Zarbade, VP PCG Research, Kotak Securities.
Further, reports from the US that a drug from Gilead is showing great results in treating Covid-19 cases also led to positive sentiments, he added.
Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended with significant gains, and stock exchanges in Europe were also trading on a strong note.
Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose marginally to USD 27.84 per barrel.
The death toll due to Covid-19 rose to 437, while the number of cases in the country climbed to 13,387.
Global tally of the infections has crossed 21 lakh, with over 1.45 lakh deaths.