By Sachin Ravikumar
BENGALURU, May 20 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose on
Wednesday, led by Reliance and ITC, as the country's finance
minister suggested she would not rule out further stimulus
measures to aid an economic recovery, following poor reaction to
an already announced package.
Indian stocks have fallen sharply in recent sessions as
investors viewed the government's economic package as doing
little to boost demand to revive an economy hit by the COVID-19
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government
would assess the need for further economic measures as the
situation evolves, according to interviews to three local
financial dailies published on Wednesday.
"As we go along, we will see. We cannot shut the doors," she
told the Business Standard newspaper, when asked if there would
be another economic package.
Coronavirus infections in India continued to rise steadily,
reaching 106,750 as of Wednesday - a jump of more than 5,600
from the day before - with deaths crossing 3,300.
India has been under a two-month lockdown to curb the spread
of the virus, which has hit the incomes of millions and starved
companies of several weeks' worth of revenues, dampening the
growth outlook for Asia's third largest economy.
"With the stimulus package lacking measures to boost demand
and protect employment, India is staring a deep recession in the
face," said Kunal Kundu, India economist at Societe Generale in
The Nifty 50 was up 0.77% at 8,947.50 by 0500 GMT, while the
S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.78% at 30,430.65.
Shares in Reliance Industries Ltd led the gains
rising 1.8%. The oil-to-telecoms conglomerate's rights issue,
the country's biggest, began on Wednesday.
Consumer goods giant ITC Ltd rose more than 3% to a
two-week high, while construction firm Larsen & Toubro Ltd
(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)