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Sensex Up 743 Points, Reliance Gains 10 % As Facebook Picks Stake In Jio

BSE S&P Sensex was up by 743 points or 2.42 per cent at 31,380 while the Nifty 50 edged higher by 206 points or 2.29 per cent at 9,187.

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Equity benchmark indices rose by 2.4 per cent on Wednesday as index heavyweight Reliance Industries surged by 9.8 per cent with Facebook picking up nearly 10 per cent stake in India's largest private sector company's digital business for 5.7 billion dollars (about Rs 43,574 crore).

Expectations of a fiscal stimulus bolstered the market sentiment even as Asian shares dipped and Brent oil futures plunged to a two-decade low amid damage done by the coronavirus pandemic. At the closing bell, the BSE S&P Sensex was up by 743 points or 2.42 per cent at 31,380 while the Nifty 50 edged higher by 206 points or 2.29 per cent at 9,187.

Except for Nifty pharma, PSU bank and realty, all sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the green with Nifty media up by 6.6 per cent, auto by 2.5 per cent and FMCG by 2.4 per cent.

Among stocks, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries climbed up by 9.83 per cent to Rs 1,359 per share after Facebook bought 9.9 per cent stake in the company's digital business to expand its presence in India.

This is the largest investment for a minority stake by a technology company anywhere in the world and the largest foreign direct investment in India's technology sector. The deal will help Reliance cut its huge debt pile as the social media giant looks to expand presence in India, its largest market in terms of subscriber base.

Zee Entertainment too staged a brilliant performance in today's session and closed 20 per cent up at Rs 155.10 per share. The other major gainers were Asian Paints, IndusInd Bank, Nestle India, Britannia, Maruti and Hero MotoCorp.

However, ONGC fell by 5.6 per cent to Rs 65.45 per share and Vedanta by 2.5 per cent. Larsen & Toubro, Cipla, Power Grid Corporation and Grasim too traded with a negative bias.

Meanwhile, Asian share markets were mixed following crashing crude prices and deep economic damage caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

Japan's Nikkei slumped by 0.74 per cent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng crawled up by 0.42 per cent. South Korea's Kospi moved up by 0.89 per cent.

Brent crude which fell 24 per cent in the previous session touched 15.98 dollars a barrel, its lowest since June 1999. It was trading down 62 cents or 3.2 per cent at 18.71 dollars by 0950 GMT.

US West Texas Intermediate was down 60 cents or 5.2 per cent at 10.97 dollars.