Indian shares close at record high as COVID-19 cases fall, IT stocks rally

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), after Sensex surpassed the 50,000 level for the first time, in Mumbai, India, January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares extended their record-high closing run to a fourth day on Tuesday as gains in IT and consumer stocks and falling domestic COVID-19 cases helped offset losses in metal and banking stocks and investor concerns around global economic growth.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.31% higher at 16,614.6, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.38% at 55,792.27.

Aiding sentiment, India recorded a sharp decline in daily new COVID-19 infections that fell to 25,166, the lowest since March 16, while it administered more than 8.8 million doses of vaccines in the past 24 hours, close to its all-time record set in June, government data showed.

The Nifty IT index ended up 2.57%, led by Tech Mahindra, Infosys, TCS and MindTree, as the sector continued to be buoyed by positive earnings announcements and its lower exposure to the effects of COVID-19.

Consumer goods majors, including Tata Consumer, Jubilant Foodworks, Nestle and Emami boosted the Nifty FMCG index, which ended up 1.4%.

The Nifty PSU Bank index slipped as much as 2.5% before closing 1.79% lower, dragged by losses in Indian Bank, Maharashtra Bank and Canara Bank among others.

Metals fell 2.30%, with Vedanta, Welspun Corp and NMDC among top losers.

Global shares stumbled on Tuesday, rattled by concerns over China’s regulations for its internet sector, a worldwide spike in COVID-19 infections, and ahead of the release of U.S. retail sales data which is expected to offer further signs of slowing economic momentum.

In early European trade, the pan-European STOXX 600 shed 0.5%, its lowest level in more than a week. [MKTS/GLOB]

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