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Financials lift Indian shares to new high ahead of cenbank meeting

BENGALURU, June 3 (Reuters) - Indian shares closed at a record high on Thursday after two straight sessions of muted trading, as heavyweight financial and consumer discretionary stocks gained, while investors awaited the central bank’s policy meeting outcome due Friday.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.73% higher at 15,690.35, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.74% to 52,232.43. Both the indexes have gained more than 7% in about 30 days to June 3, as a steady decline in daily COVID-19 cases has lifted investor sentiment.

The country has continued to see a decline in daily COVID-19 cases, with data from the health ministry on Thursday showing 134,154 fresh infections in the last 24 hours, keeping below the 200,000 mark for a week.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India on Friday is expected to keep its key rate at a record low but reaffirm its commitment to provide adequate liquidity as the country grapples with a deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shares also tracked global stocks that clung close to record highs as investors weighed inflation concerns ahead of key U.S. economic data, while oil prices rose for a third straight session.

In domestic trading, private-sector lenders HDFC Bank Ltd and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd were among the top boosts to the Nifty 50, gaining 1.1% and 1.7%, respectively.

The Nifty Bank index rose 0.78% and the Nifty Private Bank index added 0.71%.

Among other notable stock moves, the country’s biggest cold-storage chain operator, Snowman Logistics Ltd, gained 11.2%. The company said it had partnered with drugmaker Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories to provide logistics for the delivery of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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