The Finance Minister announced an economic package worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore under the 'Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Scheme' with an aim to protect the poor from the economic fallout of the lockdown.
Sensex closed the day 1,411 points, or 4.94 percent, at 29,946.77, while Nifty ended 324 points, or 3.89 percent, up at 8,641.45.
According to the pivot charts, the key support level is placed at 8,381.22, followed by 8,120.98. If the index continues moving upward, key resistance levels to watch out for are 8,825.37 and 9,009.28.
The Nifty Bank index closed at 19,613.90, up 6.13 percent. The important pivot level, which will act as crucial support for the index, is placed at 18,515.84, followed by 17,417.77. On the upside, key resistance levels are placed at 20,560.64 and 21,507.37.
Stay tuned to Moneycontrol to find out what happens in currency and equity markets today. We have collated a list of important headlines across news platforms which could impact Indian as well as international markets:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI wrapped up its strongest three days in nine decades on Thursday as record weekly U.S. jobless claims came in below investors' worst fears and the focus stayed on an unprecedented $2 trillion stimulus awaiting approval by the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 6.38% to end at 22,552.17, while the S&P 500 surged 6.24% to 2,630.07. The Nasdaq Composite added 5.6% to 7,797.54.
Asian stocks rose on Friday as investors wagered policymakers will roll out additional stimulus measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic after US unemployment filings surged to a record.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.0%. Australian shares were up 2.02%, while Japan’s Nikkei stock index rose 3.65%
Trends on SGX Nifty indicate a positive opening for the index in India with a 167 points gain. The Nifty futures were trading at 8820 on the Singaporean Exchange around 07:30 hours IST.
G20 leaders to inject $5 trillion into global economy in fight against coronavirus
Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies pledged on Thursday to inject over $5 trillion into the global economy to limit job and income losses from the coronavirus and “do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic.”
“The G20 is committed to do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic,” along with the World Health Organization and other international institutions, they said. Their statement contained the most conciliatory G20 language on trade in years, pledging to ensure the flow of vital medical supplies and other goods across borders and to resolve supply chain disruptions.
Senate passes $2 trillion bill for 'strange and evil' coronavirus crisis
The US Senate on Wednesday unanimously backed a $2 trillion bill aimed at helping unemployed workers and industries hurt by the coronavirus epidemic, as well as providing billions of dollars to buy urgently needed medical equipment.
After bitter negotiations, the deeply divided Senate came together and passed the bill by a 96-0 vote, which sent the massive stimulus package to the House of Representatives for a vote on Friday.
The rescue package - which would be the biggest ever passed by Congress - includes a $500 billion fund to help hard-hit industries and a comparable amount for direct payments of up to $3,000 apiece to millions of US families.
Crisil cuts FY21 growth estimate sharply to 3.5%
The severe dent in the economic activity due to the coronavirus pandemic led rating agency Crisil to sharply cut its growth estimate for 2020-21 to 3.5 percent, on Thursday. Earlier, the agency had predicted an economic growth of 5.2 percent for the next financial year. The agency welcomed the Rs 1.70-lakh crore package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier in the day but said more measures like loan forbearances for small businesses and households are necessary.
"The pandemic in India and the consequent lockdown for 21 days pose a material risk to our India economic outlook. The adverse effects that will follow can dwarf the gains from the sharp drop in crude oil prices, and the anticipated monetary and fiscal stimuli," it said.
Rupee settles 78 paise higher at 75.16 a dollar
The Indian rupee surged by another 78 paise to 75.16 (provisional) against the US dollar on Thursday after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced various welfare measures to tide through the coronavirus crisis. The government on Thursday unveiled a Rs 1.70 lakh crore economic package involving free foodgrain and cooking gas to poor for the next three months, higher wages to workers and measures to boost liquidity of employees as part of measures to ease the economic impact of lockdown.
Forex traders welcomed the government initiatives and said the revival of the economy though welfare measures was very much needed as the slowdown in demand was further hit by COVID-19 pandemic. The rupee, which opened on a positive note at 75.90, settled for the day with gains of 78 paise at 75.16 against the American currency.
Coronavirus impact to bring more worries for Indian banks: Fitch
The coronavirus-related worries are likely to aggravate difficulties for Indian banks, ratings agency Fitch said on March 26, revising down the operating environment score for the critical sector by a notch. The score has been revised to “BB” from “BB+” earlier, the agency said, pointing out that COVID-19 outbreak ups the worries for the sector, which is already reeling under weak business and consumer confidence.
The outlook on the score is “negative”, given the uncertainty surrounding the severity and duration of the pandemic, and the associated effects on India's banks of restrictions on economic activity, it said.
US weekly jobless claims surge to record 3.28 million
The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits surged to a record of more than 3 million last week as strict measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic ground the country to a sudden halt, unleashing a wave of layoffs that likely brought an end to the longest employment boom in US history.
The weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department on Thursday offered the clearest evidence yet of the coronavirus' devastating impact on the economy, which has forced the Federal Reserve to take extraordinary steps and the US Congress to assemble a record $2 trillion stimulus package.
DGCA extends suspension of international flights until April 14
Aviation regulator DGCA on March 26 said it has extended the suspension of scheduled international passenger services until April 14 midnight. International flights into India were earlier barred till March 31 to contain the spread of COVID-19.
This restriction will, however, not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA. In a circular, the DGCA said: "All scheduled international commercial passenger services shall remain closed till 18:30 hrs GMT of April 14, 2020."
Oil sheds more than $1
Oil prices dropped more than $1 a barrel on Thursday as a growing number of virus-related restrictions on travel slashed global fuel demand, overshadowing expectations that a $2 trillion US stimulus package will bolster economic activity.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled at $22.60 a barrel, falling $1.89, or 7.7%. Brent crude futures settled at $26.34 a barrel, shedding $1.05, or 3.8%. Both contracts are down about 60% this year.
WTO sees sharp fall in trade, calls for global solutions to tackle COVID-19 crisis
The world trade is expected to witness a sharp fall due to coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, and global solutions will be required to deal with the pandemic, according to the WTO. In a video message, World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo said cross-border trade and investment flows have a role to play in efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be vital for fostering a stronger recovery once the medical emergency subsides. He said global solutions are needed to address the global challenge brought about by the pandemic.
Sebi further relaxes compliance norms for listed companies
After a slew of relaxations announced on March 19 for listed companies, the market regulator on March 26 gave further relaxation from compliance with certain provisions of the Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements (LODR). The markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India said, for FY19-20, the top 100 companies by market capitalisation are allowed to hold their annual general meetings (AGM) in September 2020 instead of August earlier, an extension of one month.
As per the Regulations 19(3A), 20(3A) and 21(3A), the nomination and remuneration committee, stakeholders relationship committee, and risk management committee of a company, respectively, have to meet at least once in a year separately.
ESAF Small Finance Bank receives Sebi approval to float IPO
Kerala-based ESAF Small Finance Bank has received Sebi's approval to launch an initial public offering (IPO). Sebi issued the final observations to the lenders' proposal on March 20, 2020, according to the information published on regulator's website.
The company had filed its Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) on January 6, 2020, for its Rs 976 crore IPO. The book running lead managers to the offer are Axis Capital, Edelweiss Financial Services, ICICI Securities and IIFL Securities.
FII & DII data
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) sold shares worth net Rs 484.78 crore, while Domestic Institutional Investors (DIIs), too, sold net Rs 769.93 crore worth of shares in the Indian equity market on March 26, as per provisional data available on the NSE.With inputs from Reuters & other agencies