BENGALURU - Indian shares pulled back in afternoon trade on Thursday after the government's 1.7 trillion rupee ($22.58 billion) relief package for the poor amid a nationwide lockdown failed to impress investors.
Two days after India ordered a 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the virus outbreak, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced relief for the poor that included direct cash transfers and food security measures.
Both the NSE Nifty 50 index and S&P BSE Sensex which were up nearly 5% as the finance minister began addressing the media, pulled back soon after.
"These measures were required, but spot markets were also expecting something for corporates, micro, small & medium enterprises and stock markets," said Neeraj Dewan, director at Quantum Securities.
"If that relief does not come soon then it will be a disappointment."
Nifty was last up 2.6% at 8,539.99 by 0848 GMT, while Sensex was 2.8% higher at 29,353.24.
The Nifty has climbed 9% in the last two sessions as global sentiment improved as governments considered stimulus plans, but the blue-chip index is still down some 30% since the start of this year as stock markets everywhere are pummelled by the pandemic.
The outbreak has infected over 550 Indians and killed 10. Earlier this week, Indian stocks suffered their worst single-day rout in history and the rupee plunged to a new all-time low in a selling frenzy.
In Mumbai, financial stocks were the biggest boost with shares of Indusind Bank Ltd soaring over 30% and Axis Bank Ltd adding nearly 11%. The Nifty Bank index which was up over 5% trimmed gains to trade 3% higher.
The Nifty Realty index which jumped nearly 7% was last trading 4% higher.
($1 = 75.2900 Indian rupees)