Domestic stock markets started Friday’s session on a positive note, amid cautious gains in Asian equities as US President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden debated for the last time ahead of the November 3 presidential election. The S&P BSE Sensex index rose 252.63 points – or 0.62 per cent – to touch 40,811.12 at the strongest level recorded in early deals, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark climbed to as high as 11,974.55, up 78.1 points – or 0.66 per cent – from its previous close. Gains across sectors supported the markets.
At 9:19 am, the Sensex traded 221.67 points – or 0.55 per cent – higher at 40,780.16 while the Nifty was up 64.80 points – or 0.54 per cent – at 11,961.25.
Top gainers in the Nifty basket of 50 shares at the time were Tata Steel, Cipla, Indian Oil, Bharti Airtel and ICICI Bank, trading between 1.21 per cent and 2.36 per cent higher.
On the other hand, GAIL, Shree Cement and JSW Steel – down 0.56 per cent, 0.50 per cent and 0.26 per cent respectively – were among the seven laggards in the index.
HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC and Tata Consultancy Services were the biggest boosts to Sensex.
US President Donald Trump debated Democratic challenger Joe Biden on Thursday to try to close a gap in opinion polls before an election 12 days away.
Mr Trump trails former vice president Mr Biden in national polls, but the contest is much tighter in some battleground states where the election will likely be decided.