Indian shares flat, IT gains offset worries over new virus strain

BENGALURU, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Indian shares were little changed in early trade on Wednesday, as a rally in IT stocks countered weak global investor sentiment over fresh COVID-19 related restrictions after a new strain of the coronavirus swept through the UK.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.09% at 13,475.10 by 0348 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex inched 0.06% higher to 46,053.20.

U.S. stock futures fell after President Donald Trump indicated he might not sign the $900 billion bipartisan relief package just a day after Congress passed it.

Investors globally are concerned over the new coronavirus strain in the UK which has led to new travel restrictions and fresh round of lockdowns.

In Mumbai, IT stocks extended gains with the Nifty IT index rising as much as 1.46%.

Shares of Wipro Ltd rose as much as 3.65%, after the IT services provider on Tuesday signed a $700 million deal with METRO AG to manage METRO AG’s units in Germany and Romania.

Infosys Ltd advanced over 2% in early trade after it signed a partnership with Daimler AG on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Reuters on Tuesday reported that India is likely to approve Oxford/AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use by next week.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich