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Sensex soars to over four-month high on vaccine hopes; Voda-Idea tanks 8%

Mumbai: Equity indices ratcheted higher for the fifth session on the trot on Tuesday as positive results from early trials of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate buoyed markets globally.

A sharp recovery in the rupee and healthy earnings from some corporates added to the bullish mood here, traders said.

The 30-share BSE Sensex, which opened on a firm foot, stayed in the positive territory throughout the session and closed at 37,930.33, up 511.34 points, or 1.37 per cent.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty rose 140.05 points, or 1.27 per cent, to end at 11,162.25. This is the highest closing for both the benchmarks since March 5.

PowerGrid was the top gainer among the Sensex constituents, spurting 6.14 per cent, followed by Maruti, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Kotak Bank, Axis Bank, and Reliance Industries.

On the other hand, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, Asian Paints and Sun Pharma were among the laggards, dropping up to 4.31 per cent.

Shares of Vodafone Idea tumbled 8 per cent, a day after the Supreme Court said it was not reasonable to give 15 to 20 years period for paying AGR dues by telecom companies.

The stock tanked 8.08 per cent to close at Rs 8.31 on the BSE. During the day, it plunged 9.84 per cent to Rs 8.15.

On the NSE, it tumbled 7.69 per cent to close at Rs 8.40.

Global equities rallied after Oxford University's COVID-19 vaccine candidate showed positive trial results, while EU leaders finalised a 750-billion euro stimulus plan.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended on a positive note.

Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading with significant gains in early deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude futures climbed 2.08 per cent to $44.18 per barrel.

The rupee rose by 17 paise to close at a two-week high of 74.74 against the US dollar on Tuesday tracking positive domestic equities and hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine.

At the interbank forex market, the domestic unit opened on a strong note at 74.79 against US dollar. During the session, it touched an intra-day high of 74.73 and a low of 74.87 against the US dollar. The local unit finally settled at 74.74, up 17 paise over its previous close.

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