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Indian shares rebound to jump 3%; banks, pharma stocks rally

Wed 8th April, 2020 6:38am
* Nifty, Sensex slipped 1.5% each in early trade
    * Pharma stocks surge for a second straight session
    * Financial shares see sharp recovery

    By Chandini Monnappa
    BENGALURU, April 8 (Reuters) - Indian stocks clawed back
early losses to jump more than 3% on Wednesday, as hopes of a
phased lifting of an ongoing country-wide lockdown aided
investor sentiment. 
    Earlier in the session, the NSE Nifty 50 index  .NSEI  and
the S&P BSE Sensex  .BSESN  slipped more than 1.5% each. The
Nifty was up 3.4% at 9,098.30, as of 0508 GMT, while the Sensex
was up 3.2% at 31,119.25.
    "Hopes of the lockdown lifting in a staggered way post April
14 is fuelling the markets," said Amit Kumar Gupta, portfolio
manager, Adroit Financial Services.
    By next week, the India government is expected to lift its
21-day lockdown that has rattled businesses and brought economic
activity to a grinding halt. However, with the number of the
coronavirus cases on the rise, it is unclear how the government
plans to end the lockdown.
    As of early Wednesday, India reported over 4,500 infections
and nearly 150 deaths.
    "It is a holiday-shortened week for trade in India, the pace
of action is slightly quick, we are front-loading a lot of
events that could happen next week," said Anand James, chief
market strategist at Geojit Financial Services in Kochi.
    Indian financial markets are closed on Friday and were shut
on Monday for a local holiday. In the previous session, Indian
shares recorded their biggest single-day gain in more than a
    Meanwhile, broader Asian markets inched lower as investors
weighed the slowing rate of COVID-19 infections against rising
deaths across the globe.  MKTS/GLOB 
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 .MIAPJ0000PUS  slipped 0.5% and Japan's Nikkei  .N225  dropped
    In domestic trading, stocks across the board rallied. The
Nifty bank index  .NSEBANK , the Nifty auto index  .NIFTYAUTO 
and the Nifty pharma index  NIPHARM  all surged more than 4%.
    Consumer heavyweight Hindustan Unilever  HLL.NS  rose nearly
5%, while shares of Godrej Consumer Products  GOCP.NS  surged
almost 8%.    

 (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa, additional reporting by Nallur
Sethuraman in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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