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Indian shares close at record high on HDFC boost

BENGALURU, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Indian shares closed at a record high on Tuesday, boosted by gains in mortgage lender HDFC and hopes that the country’s emergency approvals of coronavirus vaccines would lead to a quick economic recovery.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.47% higher at 14,199.5, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.54% to 48,437.78.

Indian shares hit record highs on Friday and Monday to kick off the new year, helped by continued foreign fund inflows and progress on COVID-19 vaccines.

“The momentum is positive as a lot of money is coming into the emerging markets. The vaccine development is also earlier than anticipated,” said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.

“It is expected that we will be out of this virus issue this year. The economy is likely to open further. We will have a strong earnings growth and also have a lot of liquidity in the market. These (expectations) are helping the market,” Nair said.

On Sunday, the country’s drug regulator gave emergency use approval to two coronavirus vaccines – one developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and the other by local company Bharat Biotech.

In Mumbai trading, HDFC Ltd hit a record high, closing 2.8% higher as individual loan business continued to improve during the Oct-Dec quarter, with disbursement growth of 26% from a year earlier.

Gains in HDFC lifted the heavy-weight financials sector and boosted Nifty finance sub-index up 1.23%, while the Nifty Bank Index gained 1.65%.

Reliance Industries fell about 1.2% and was the top drag on the Nifty 50. The company said on Monday it had asked government authorities to help stop attacks against its telecommunication masts by protesting farmers.

The Nifty IT index was up 2.6%, with Tata Consultancy Services gaining 1.8%. The company is set to kick off the third-quarter earnings season on Friday. (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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