Indian shares close at near record levels on financial boost, vaccine availability

BENGALURU, July 5 (Reuters) - Indian shares ended points away from record levels on Monday, lifted by strong gains in financials and on hopes of a sustained economic recovery with wider availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.71% higher at 15,834.35 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex ended up 0.75% at 52,880. The Nifty 50 is on track to reverse the 0.87% drop clocked last week.

Both indexes scaled all-time highs last month aided by a steady dip in COVID-19 cases, relaxation of pandemic-led curbs and a rise in daily vaccinations. With software services giant Tata Consultancy Services set to report first quarter earnings on July 8, investors are hopeful that strong results will boost the market sentiment.

The Nifty Bank index closed up 1.16%, boosted by top private sector lender HDFC Bank. The lender’s shares ended 1.1% higher after it reported strong growth in loans and deposits. The Nifty PSU Bank index also closed 0.93% higher.

Shares of top automakers helped the Nifty Auto index close 0.57% higher as Royal Enfield-maker Eicher Motors, Bajaj Auto and Jaguar Land Rover-parent Tata Motors ended between 0.4% and 1.7% higher on June sales data.

Panacea Biotec shares rose as much as 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 a few major government hospitals in India by July 15.

Shares of agrochemical firm India Pesticides jumped as much as 24.3% to 368 rupees in their market debut.

Global markets were hovering close to record highs on Monday as worries about the Delta variant of COVID-19 offset positive sentiment from surging euro zone business activity and a U.S. jobs report signalling an intact economic recovery. (Reporting by Shivani Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)