Indian shares boosted by tech stocks, set for monthly gain

BENGALURU, June 30 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose on Wednesday to be on track for their fourth monthly gain in five, boosted by declining COVID-19 cases, easing of pandemic-induced restrictions and a surge in vaccinations.

Gains in heavyweight information technology stocks helped the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rise 0.37% to 15,807 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex add 0.38% to 52,747.01 by 0500 GMT.

Both the indices were set to end June more than 1.4% higher, scaling record highs several times during the month. However, they have struggled to break past those levels.

Volumes have been falling over the last two weeks, reflecting low interest from the institutional side, with investors neither selling nor buying aggressively, said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities in Mumbai.

Globally too, indices have hit record highs but have been unable to break through, falling to near-term lows before gaining again, Jasani said.

While Wall Street’s Nasdaq index closed at an all-time high overnight, a gauge of global equities hovered near record levels on rising consumer confidence in an economic recovery. Broader Asian markets, too, are up on Wednesday.

In Mumbai trading, the Nifty IT index added 0.85%. IT majors Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys will be kicking off India’s first-quarter earnings season over the next few weeks.

The Nifty Metal index rose 1.34%. Shares of Indian miners and metal companies have been boosted by a surge in global metal prices this year.

Reliance Industries added 0.6%. The conglomerate signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co to build a multi-billion-dollar chemical project in Ruwais.

Cipla climbed as much as 1.8% before reversing course to trade lower. The drugmaker received a regulatory approval to import partner Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V