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Indian shares jump on Reliance, financials boost

BENGALURU, Dec 24 (Reuters) - A jump in beaten-down Reliance and financial stocks helped Indian shares rise nearly 1% on Thursday, while news that a Brexit trade deal was imminent boosted global sentiment ahead of the Christmas holiday.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.88% to 13,720.50 by 0505 GMT and was set for its third straight day of gains, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.85% at 46,838.98.

Both the indexes had earlier risen as much as 1.01%.

Britain and the European Union were on the cusp of striking a narrow trade deal, media reports said, lifting Asian equities.

In Mumbai trading, Reliance Industries rose up to 1.35%. The Nifty Energy index gained 1.4%, led by a 5% jump in Oil and Natural Gas Corp.

The Nifty’s banking, PSU Bank, and financial indexes rose between 1.25% and 1.68%.

Reliance and financial stocks are catching up to a broader rally, said Harendra Kumar, managing director of institutional equities at Elara Capital.

Indian equities had advanced for the past two sessions on gains in IT stocks, with the Nifty IT index set for a weekly rise of 3%.

The sector, however, fell as much as 0.66% on Thursday.

“Whenever the leaders slow down, the laggards catch-up,” Kumar said, adding that there was higher interest in emerging market stocks generally.

Shares of Bharti Airtel Ltd rose as much as 2.5% and were among the top gainers on the Nifty after data showed it added 3.67 million new customers in October, the highest among telecom operators in the country.

Shares of Vedanta Ltd surged 13.46% to their highest since Jan. 15 as media reports here said promoters of the miner would buy a near 5% stake through block deals.

Shares of biscuit maker Mrs Bectors Food Specialities more than doubled in their market debut. (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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