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The benchmark stock indices opened the day on a

Join us as we follow the top business news through the day.

10:00 AM

Banks buoy Indian shares; coronavirus cases cross 20 mln

A good start to the day for stocks.

Reuters reports: “Indian shares edged higher on Tuesday, supported by gains in financials and metal stocks, even as the country crossed the grim milestone of 20 million coronavirus cases.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.24% to 14,669.95 by 0355 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex inched up 0.2% to 48,813.62.

India reported 357,229 new COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, taking the total tally to 20.28 million, health ministry data showed.

The second wave of COVID-19 infections has overwhelmed the healthcare system and forced states to enter lockdowns, but has not hit the equity market as hard as in the initial wave last year. The Nifty is up about 5% so far in 2021.

On Tuesday, the Nifty Bank index rose 1.1%, while the Nifty Metal index advanced 1.8% to a record high.

Nifty 50 component Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone climbed 2.4% ahead of its quarterly results.”

9:30 AM

Factory orders, production rise at slowest rates in 8 months in April in India: PMI

India’s manufacturing sector activity was largely flat in April, as rates of growth for new orders and output eased to eight-month lows amid the intensification of the COVID-19 crisis, a monthly survey said on May 3.

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was at 55.5 in April, little changed from March’s reading of 55.4.

In PMI parlance, a print above 50 means expansion while a score below 50 denotes contraction.

“The PMI results for April showed a further slowdown in rates of growth for new orders and output, both of which eased to eight-month lows amid the intensification of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Pollyanna De Lima, Economics Associate Director at IHS Markit.

Ms. Lima also noted that “the surge in COVID-19 cases could dampen demand further when firms’ financials are already susceptible to the hurdle of rising global prices.” The daily COVID-19 cases in India showed a slight dip with 3,68,147 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, taking the total tally of cases to 1,99,25,604, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on May 3.

 

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