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Indian shares post weekly loss after recent peaks

BENGALURU, July 2 (Reuters) - Indian shares closed higher on Friday, aided by gains in pharmaceutical stocks and Reliance Industries, but ended the week nearly 1% lower after struggling for momentum since hitting recent record levels.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.27% higher at 15,722.20 while the S&P BSE Sensex ended 0.32% higher at 52,484.67. They snapped a four-day losing streak.

Despite Friday’s gains, the indexes clocked their third weekly loss in ten, struggling to make any headway amid a lack of positive triggers since hitting record highs on Monday.

Investors will turn their attention to the upcoming first-quarter earnings season for direction, which will be kicked off next week by software services heavyweight Tata Consultancy Services.

In Mumbai trading, the Nifty Pharma index rose as much as 0.92% to hit an all-time high. The index has risen 3.3% this week amid positive developments from pharma giants tackling the COVID-19 pandemic..

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance helped boost the market by ending 1.5% higher and was among the top percentage gainers on the Nifty 50, continuing its recovery after a recent five-day losing streak.

The Nifty Bank index ended 0.36% higher, their first session of gains this week.

The Reserve Bank of India said in its Financial Stability Report on Thursday that the impact of the pandemic on the balance sheet of banks has not been as severe as projected earlier.

In other individual stocks, India’s largest port operator Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone closed 1% higher after reporting an 83% jump in handled cargo volumes for June.

Consumer goods company Marico, known for Parachute hair oil, closed 2.8% lower after it said its operating margin for the first quarter will drop sharply on a year-on-year basis.

Reporting by Shivani Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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