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Indian shares at record highs as COVID-19 curbs ease, cases fall

BENGALURU, June 15 (Reuters) - Indian shares traded at all-time highs on Tuesday, as declining COVID-19 infections prompted more parts of the country to open businesses, with sentiment aided by upbeat broader markets.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.52% to 15,894.15 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.56% to 52,851.33 by 0457 GMT.

“Globally, there is an upbeat mood on asset prices and we are also moving along with that. The sentiment (for India) is primarily driven by both benign liquidity conditions and optimism that the economy will open up,” said Samrat Dasgupta, chief executive of Esquire Capital Investment Advisors.

Many Indian states eased coronavirus restrictions on Monday, including the national capital New Delhi, where authorities allowed all shops and malls to open as the number of new cases dropped to the lowest in more than two months.

On Tuesday, India reported 60,471 new infections, the lowest since March 31.

Meanwhile, broader Asian markets tracked overnight gains on Wall Street, with investors looking to a much-anticipated Federal Reserve policy meeting.

Many investors expect the Fed to maintain its dovish stance at its two-day meeting from Tuesday. Some board members, however, have said the central bank should start discussing tapering its bond-buying.

In Mumbai trading, Reliance Industries Ltd and HDFC Bank Ltd were the top performers on the Nifty 50, adding 1.3% and 0.7%, respectively. Shares of Reliance have gained in the last five consecutive sessions.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd opened 4.5% higher after a steep drop in the previous session. The company rejected of a media report that said accounts of three foreign investor funds that own Adani Group stocks had been frozen. Shares were last down 0.8%.

Adani Power, Adani Transmission and Adani Total Gas fell 5% and were locked in their lower circuits. (Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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