Indian shares rise on financials, IT stocks boost

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares rose on Wednesday, boosted by gains in financial and information technology stocks, as a downward trend in daily COVID-19 cases fuelled hopes of a swifter economic reopening.

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.47% at 15,279.10 by 0521 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was 0.51% higher at 50,890.03.

“Overall, the market is positive because of drop in COVID-19 cases and on expectation that the economy will be further opened,” said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.

“Market is hoping that localised lockdowns will be reduced in the coming weeks so the economy will be much better.”

On Tuesday, India reported its lowest daily rise in cases in more than a month.

Total infections have now crossed 27 million, with deaths rising by 4,157 in the last 24 hours, according to the health ministry’s data released on Wednesday.

Software services giant Infosys Ltd and mortgage lender HDFC Ltd were among the biggest boosts to the Nifty 50, gaining 1.1% and 0.8%, respectively.

The Indian economy is likely to have grown 0.6% to 2.1% in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2020-21, better than the government’s prediction of a contraction, the Business Standard reported, citing independent economists and rating agencies it had surveyed.

However, for the entire FY21, gross domestic product is expected to contract 7% to 8%, the report said.

Nifty component Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd is set to report its March-quarter earnings later in the day.

Indian foreign exchange and bond markets are closed for a holiday.

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