BENGALURU, July 5 (Reuters) - Indian shares neared record highs on Monday, as availability of more COVID-19 vaccines raised expectations of a sustained economic recovery, with investors hoping for a strong corporate earnings season that gets underway later this week.
By 0510 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.64% at 15,822.50 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.66% to 52,832.21. The Nifty 50 was less than 100 points away from its all-time high this morning.
A steady dip in COVID-19 cases, relaxation of pandemic-led curbs and a rise in daily vaccinations has boosted sentiment so far. First-quarter corporate earnings — set to start when tech giant Tata Consultancy Services reports on July 8 — is on investors’ radar to gauge the pick-up in business activity.
“IT results are expected to be positive and good June auto sales numbers can provide sufficient positive triggers”, said Narendra Solanki, head of equity research at Anand Rathi Investment Services in Mumbai.
The Nifty Auto index jumped 1.11% as Royal Enfield-maker Eicher Motors, Bajaj Auto and Jaguar Land Rover-parent Tata Motors rose between 1.4% and 1.8% after June sales data.
Meanwhile, India’s June services activity contracted sharply at its fastest rate in 11 months. But, markets had priced in the effects of the lockdown in the PMI data, Solanki said.
The Nifty Bank index gained 0.77%, boosted by HDFC Bank. The top lender’s shares were up 1.3% after it reported strong growth in loans and deposits.
Shares of Panacea Biotec soared 9% after the biotechnology firm got the Indian drug regulator’s nod to manufacture the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.
The Economic Times reported Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine was likely to be available in few major government hospitals by July 15.
Agrochemical firm India Pesticides jumped 18.2% in its market debut. (Reporting by Shivani Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)