BENGALURU - Indian shares tracked broader Asian peers higher on Friday, on hopes that governments will chart out provisions to assuage the impact on their economies from the coronavirus outbreak.
Market sentiment got a lift after health officials said the daily death toll in Hubei, the Chinese province at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak, halved and the number of new cases dropped from a record posted the day before.
The broader NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.43% at 12,226.50 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.42% at 41,636.44, as of 0415 GMT.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ticked up 0.3%, led by gains in Hong Kong and South Korea [MKTS/GLOB]
Meanwhile, China's central bank injected huge amounts of liquidity into the market to restore confidence earlier this month amid hopes that authorities would do more to cushion the economic impact of the outbreak.
"Any stimulus or equity inflows to limit the decline in the economic growth will help since China is a big player in the global economy," said Siddharth Khemka, head of retail research at Motilal Oswal Securities.
A Reuters poll published on Friday showed that though the virus-hit Chinese economy will grow at its slowest rate since the financial crisis in the current quarter, the downturn will be short-lived if the outbreak is contained.
In the domestic market, rating agency S&P affirmed India's sovereign rating at "BBB-/A-3," with a stable outlook.
The news had a positive effect on investors, who were fearing a cut due to the slowing growth in Asia's third-largest economy.
"The core concern that rating could have been cut has gone away," Khemka said.
State-owned banks were the top gainers, with their main Nifty sub-index rising 0.83%. The Nifty autos index advanced 0.55%.
Yes bank shares climbed 6.45% to top the gainers in the blue-chip index, while Indusind bank was the top laggard after losing 1.2%.