Indian shares jump on potential COVID-19 vaccine; Bharti Airtel surges

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: May 19, 2020, 11.25 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Banking stocks were the next biggest boost to the Nifty 50, following a bruising Monday that saw the sector record its worst day in two weeks. 

Spurred by gains in Bharti Airtel and positive data from an early trial of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, the blue-chip Nifty 50 was up 2.09% at 9,007.20 by 11 am, while the S&P BSE Sensex was 2.12% higher at 30,665.07.

The NSE Nifty 50 index has slid 9% in May so far, with sharp falls in the last three sessions, as India's economic relief measures disappointed markets and domestic COVID-19 infections rose steadily.

Shares in Bharti Airtel Ltd jumped 9 per cent and hit a record high as the telecoms firm reported a 15% rise in revenue. The stock was the biggest boost to the Nifty 50.

Banking stocks were the next biggest boost to the Nifty 50, following a bruising Monday that saw the sector record its worst day in two weeks. 

HDFC Bank and mortgage lender HDFC <HDFC.NS> gained over 2% each.

The banking index is down 44% this year and is among the worst performers in 2020, with the industry staring at more defaults by businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, raising concerns of a fresh bout of bad loans.

The number of COVID-19 cases in India surged past 100,000 on Tuesday, and the death toll stood at 3,163.

India is currently under a two-month lockdown that has hit the incomes of millions of workers and left businesses without revenues. Although some lockdown curbs have been eased, air travel and most public gatherings remain restricted.

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