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Asia, News

Indian shares end higher for fifth day, lenders soar

BENGALURU, July 7 (Reuters) – Indian shares closed higher for a fifth straight session on Tuesday, as gains in IT and beaten down financial companies helped Mumbai’s main indexes outperform other stock markets after a week-long rally.

The NSE Nifty 50 index ended up 0.33% at 10,799.65, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.51% to 36,674.52, both closing at four-month peaks.

Including Tuesday’s close, the indexes have gained around 5% over the last five sessions, and more than 40% from four-year lows hit in March when virus fears had pummelled markets.

Meanwhile, a five-day rally in world stocks fizzled on Tuesday as caution reigned about renewed coronavirus lockdowns, although Chinese stocks continued to surge.

Heavyweight shadow lender Bajaj Finance Ltd was the top gainer on the Nifty, jumping 7.8% to its best close since mid-March, after it said assets under a moratorium offered by the central bank had fallen at June-end.

Private-sector lender IndusInd Bank Ltd climbed 6.1%, while larger rival ICICI Bank Ltd advanced 3.9%, pushing the Nifty Bank Index 1.9% higher.

IT firm Infosys Ltd rose 4% to its highest since Feb. 25, while the Nifty IT index climbed 2.1%.

However, gains were kept in check as coronavirus cases in the world’s second-most populous country jumped to 719,665, including 20,160 deaths. India on Monday overtook Russia to become the third-most affected country by the novel coronavirus.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd slid 3.8%, electricity generator NTPC Ltd shed 2.8% and consumer goods giant ITC Ltd slipped 2.8%.

Heavyweight conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd dropped 1.5%, dragging the Nifty Energy Index 2% lower. (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Shinjini Ganguli)

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