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India Stocks Gain for Third Day Despite Stimulus Disappointment

Ronojoy Mazumdar
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India Stocks Gain for Third Day Despite Stimulus Disappointment

(Bloomberg) -- India stocks extended gains after a dip in the benchmark index on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement of 1.7 trillion rupees ($22.5 billion) in fiscal measures to cushion the blow to the Indian economy from the spread of the coronavirus amid a nationwide lockdown.

The S&P BSE Sensex Index rose 4.9% at the 3:30 pm close in Mumbai, after paring its advance to 3.1% earlier in the day. The NSE Nifty 50 Index gained 3.9%. Both measures surged the most since 2009 on Wednesday and have added more than 10% in the past three days. While volatility touched an all-time high this week, trading volume on the Sensex reached the highest since 2017 on Wednesday.

“The market is disappointed by the size of the package, but even if it was a package double this size, investors would be disappointed,” said A. K. Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital Market Services Ltd. “In past crises, India hasn’t announced all steps in one go. They don’t want to run out of ammo.”

The measures will include cash transfers as well as steps on food security, and benefit workers who’ve moved to cities from rural areas. The government will also provide an insurance cover of 5 million rupees for medical workers, Sitharaman said. India entered a nationwide lockdown Wednesday in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The Numbers

All 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. advanced, led by a gauge of telecom companies.Twenty-six of the 30 Sensex members rose; HDFC Bank contributed the most to the advance, rising 6.8%, while IndusInd Bank Ltd. gained the most, up 45%.

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