Tuesday, October 19

Indian shares snap four-day losing streak as banks, pharma stocks take lead

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BENGALURU — Indian shares closed higher on Monday after falling for four straight sessions, boosted by banking and pharmaceutical stocks, with investors now eyeing a central bank policy meeting and the start of the domestic corporate results season.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.91% higher at 17,691.25, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.91% to 59,299.32.

The indexes last week had posted their worst weekly performance in several months, as the market consolidated after touching several record highs in September when lower COVID-19 cases prompted an easing in restrictions across the country.

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Looking ahead, a meeting by the Reserve Bank of India is on investors’ radar as it could point towards an unwinding of its accommodative monetary policy, while IT firm Tata Consultancy Services will kickstart September-quarter earnings season when it announces its results on Friday.

Among individual shares and sectors, public sector banks jumped more than 2% on Monday to drive gains on the benchmark index, with Union Bank of India rising over 3%.

Pharmaceutical stocks advanced 1.5%. Divi’s Laboratories surged 8% after global drugmaker Merck & Co reported positive trial results for its COVID-19 pill, the main ingredient of which is made by Divi’s Labs.

Energy shares added 1.5%, while tech stocks also climbed.

Gains in the energy sector was driven by power retailer NTPC Ltd as it rose more than 4%, after media reports of the company looking to raise 150 bln rupees ($2.02 bln) through IPOs in three units.

(Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)


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