Sensex, Nifty rise as new cases of coronavirus infection drop

The World Bank is offering technical assistance to China

INDIA-BUDGET/ People walk past at a screen displaying India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman before the budget, on a facade of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai | Reuters

Domestic equity indices, on Wednesday, started on a positive note with the BSE rising over 400 points to touch 41,418.64. The NSE benchmark Nifty rose 111 points to reach 12, 142.

Asian shares opened higher after the US markers closed at record highs. The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched up 0.9 per cent. The positive change is seen as the result of a drop in new cases of coronavirus infection, and some of the Chinese factories slowly resuming work. The death toll from the alarming coronavirus epidemic in China has climbed above 1,000, but new cases on Monday were down to 2,097 from 2,618 the previous day. Over 40,000 are believed to infected worldwide. The World Bank is offering technical assistance to China to help battle the coronavirus epidemic but no new loans will be granted, world bank president said on Monday.

In domestic markets, metal stocks were among the best performers, boosted by a more than 5% jump in Chinese iron ore and steel futures. The Nifty metals index rose 1.2 per cent, with sector heavyweight Tata Steel gaining 1.4 per cent. State-owned banks also underpinned the bullish sentiment, with the Nifty PSU index rising about 1 per cent.