The jolt from the second wave: how the market caught a whiff of what was coming before others


Smart bets predating the second wave were an indication of things to come. From March 1 to May 14, Nifty50 gave returns of -0.3%, while investors got 15%-16% from Nifty Pharma and S&P BSE Healthcare Index. So, what’s in store? The deep correlation between the pharma-healthcare index and Covid-19 caseload, and the possibility of a third wave, offer some clarity.

For Gabriel Leung, a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic was a “statistical certainty”. The epidemiologist, who was among the first to write about Covid-19 turning into a global pandemic back in January 2020, had said this in June last year. While many countries in the northern hemisphere faced a second surge last winter, for India the horror came knocking with a lag. The summers of 2021 got us more bad news. The disease has spread far and

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