March 25, 2020 / 4:50 AM / 2 months ago

Indian stocks log best day since 2009 on $2 trillion U.S. stimulus package

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective mask walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File photo

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares surged to their best single-day percentage gain in over a decade on Wednesday, as a massive stimulus in the United States lifted investor sentiment worldwide and eased some concerns as India entered into a national lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus.

The Nifty closed 6.62% higher at 8,317.85 and the benchmark Sensex ended 6.98% higher at 28,525.06. Both the Nifty and Sensex saw their best session since May 2009.

Asian and European shares gained after the United States approved a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus package, which is expected to include $500 billion in direct payments to people and $500 billion in liquidity assistance.

The dramatic recovery in Indian stocks came a day after the country was put under a lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus and the government promised to announce stimulus measures to help the economy.

“There is an anticipation from investors that the Indian government would also provide some stimulus for the economy in line with what’s being done elsewhere,” said Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets in Mumbai.

Oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd provided the biggest boost, closing nearly 15% higher seeing its best day since mid 2009.

Financial stocks accounted for more than half the gains on the Nifty index. Lender HDFC Bank Ltd jumped over 12%, while public sector peer State Bank of India rose 4%.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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