Domestic stock markets started Tuesday’s session on a higher note as the third and largest phase of the national election began this morning. The S&P BSE Sensex jumped as much as 183.9 points to touch 38,829.08 and the Nifty moved to 11,641.65 in early trade, up 47.2 points from the previous close. Advances in banking, media and pharma stocks supported the markets, however weakness in information technology counters capped the upside. 

At 9:19 am, the Sensex traded 114.84 points higher at 38,760.02, while the Nifty was up 13.20 points at 11,607.65. Top gainers on the 50-scrip index at the time were Zee Entertainment, Bharti Airtel, Cipla and Reliance Industries, trading between 0.73 per cent and 2.26 per cent higher.

Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank were the top contributors to the upmove on Sensex.

In global markets, crude oil strengthened to reach near 2019 highs after the US announced all Iran sanction waivers would end by May, pressuring importers to stop buying from Tehran. Brent futures – the international benchmark for crude oil – were at $74.40 per barrel at 8:09 am, up 0.5 per cent from their last close and not far off a 2019 peak of $74.52 reached the previous day.

Meanwhile, equities in other Asian markets were little changed on Tuesday, hovering not far from nine-month peaks hit last week, with concerns China may slow the pace of policy easing curbing the market’s enthusiasm.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was almost flat, while Japan’s Nikkei average eased 0.2 per cent. Many markets around the world remained shut on Monday after the long Easter weekend.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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