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Indian shares gain on auto, tech boost; Cipla rises

BENGALURU, June 30 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose on Wednesday, helped by automakers and information technology stocks, while drugmaker Cipla climbed after getting a regulatory nod to import partner Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.34% to 15,801.80 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.36% to 52,741.22 by 0354 GMT.

Markets have struggled for momentum this week after briefly scaling record highs on the back of declining COVID-19 cases, easing of pandemic-induced restrictions and a surge in vaccinations.

On Wednesday, gains in automaker stocks a day before their monthly sales supported the markets, with the Nifty Auto index gaining 0.59%. Maruti Suzuki India rose 1.7% and was the top percentage gainer on the Nifty 50.

The Nifty IT index added 0.48%. IT majors Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys will be kicking off India’s first-quarter earnings season over the next few weeks.

Cipla rose as much as 1.8%. The drugmaker has received regulatory approval to distribute partner Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in India, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

The company is also among five Indian drugmakers that will jointly conduct a clinical trial in the country for Merck & Co’s experimental anti-viral drug to treat mild COVID-19.

Conglomerate Reliance Industries rose 0.3%. The company has signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co to build a multi-billion-dollar chemical project in Ruwais.

In global markets, Wall Street’s Nasdaq index closed at a record high, helped by rising consumer confidence in an economic recovery, with Asian shares also posting gains. (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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