Nifty end higher on slowing COVID-19 cases, HDFC Bank boost

  • Reuters
Nifty end higher on slowing COVID-19 cases, HDFC Bank boost

BENGALURU, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Indian shares ended higher on Tuesday as a slowdown in daily COVID-19 cases stoked hopes of easing restrictions to revive economic growth, while HDFC Bank's shares boosted gains on upbeat commentary from a ratings agency.

The NSE Nifty 50 index .NSEI closed up 0.2% at 11,896.8, while the S&P BSE Sensex .BSESN ended 0.28% higher at 40,544.37.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address the country at 1230 GMT on Tuesday.

India posted its lowest daily coronavirus caseload in nearly three months, data from the health ministry showed on Tuesday, as new cases maintained a decreasing trend from a peak in September. in HDFC Bank Ltd HDBK.NS rose as much as 2% after ratings agency S&P said the lender's asset quality over the next two years would remain superior to the industry despite likely deterioration from the pandemic.

The Nifty Bank Index .NSEBANK , which slipped as much as 0.9% earlier in the day, ended the session 0.19% higher and extended gains for a third straight day.

IT stocks were among the top gainers on the Nifty 50, led by gains in HCL Technologies Ltd HCLT.NS and Tech Mahindra Ltd TEML.NS , which rose 4.1% and 3.1%, respectively. The Nifty IT Index .NIFTYIT ended 1.4% higher.

Hindustan Unilever Ltd HLL.NS ended the day 0.2% lower after the consumer giant reported a quarterly profit that missed estimates. Realty OEBO.NS rose as much as 20% to its highest since March after J.P.Morgan raised its price target and earnings estimate for the firm, helping the Nifty Realty Index .NIFTYREAL end 3.9% higher.

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