BENGALURU, May 18 (Reuters) - India’s benchmark Nifty 50 index climbed on Tuesday to hit its highest in more than two months, powered by gains in financial and metal stocks, as the daily rise in domestic coronavirus cases stayed below the 300,000 mark for a second straight day.
The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 1.02% to 15,075.45 by 0450 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex advanced 0.97% to 50,061.37. On Monday, they had climbed 1.7% each.
Daily COVID-19 cases in the world’s second-worst pandemic-hit country after the United States rose by 263,533, remaining below the 300,000 mark first seen on Monday after April 21. However, deaths rose by a record 4,329.
“Positive trigger for market now is steadily declining fresh COVID cases,” V.K. Vijaykumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services, said in a note.
Gains were seen across the board with forty-six stocks of the Nifty 50 trading in positive territory.
Private sector lender HDFC Bank rose as much as 2.34% to its highest in nearly three weeks, while ICICI Bank jumped 1.9% to its highest since March 12.
Boosting investor sentiment further was a rise in commodity prices. Copper and iron ore futures rose, pushing the Nifty metal index 2.56% higher. Hindustan Copper led gains on the sub-index with a near 9% surge.
A heady rally in metal stocks paused last week as commodity prices pulled back from record prices. The Nifty metal index is up more than 10% this month despite the pause last week, after surging 21.9% in April.
Drug maker Gland Pharma rose 9.66% to hit a record high after reporting March-quarter results on Monday, while Tata Motors was up 2.4% ahead of its quarterly results.
Among losers, Bharti Airtel fell 1.56% after reporting quarterly results on Monday.
Meanwhile, Asian shares also rose, shrugging off worries about an increase in regional coronavirus infections. (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)