03:51 GMT14 July 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The COVID-19 pandemic has brought Indian equities down by at least 20 percent from their February levels. From over 41,000 at the end of February, the Indian index Sensex now stands at 33,000. 

    On Monday, Indian bourses shot up in response to the government’s blueprint to open the economy and restrict lockdown to just containment zones. 

    The Bombay Stock Exchange's 30 share index, Sensex soared 980 points to trade at 33,404. Metal and banking stocks climbed causing the rally.

    The National Stock Exchange's Nifty, a fifty share index, also rallied 279 points to trade at 9,860. 

    The Indian currency, the rupee, too strengthened against the US dollar in early trading on Monday. The rupee was at a monthly high against the US dollar in opening trading. The currency opened stronger at 75.35 against the greenback compared with Friday's closing of 75.61. 

    The Indian Home Ministry has announced a relaxation of the lockdown in three phases. In the first phase, beginning 8 June, the Indian government will allow shopping malls, restaurants, and other hospitality services to open.

    In the second phase, a decision to open schools and educational institutions will be taken in July after consultations with states. A decision on international air travel, metro rail, cinema halls, and gyms will be taken in the third phase.

    Meanwhile, according to India's federal Health and Family Welfare Ministry, the total number of active COVID-19 cases has swelled to 93,322, with 5,394 deaths recorded so far. However, 91,818 people have been cured and discharged as of 1 June.


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    dollar, rupee, lockdown, economy, equity markets, India
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