CORRECTED (OFFICIAL)-Indian shares hit record peaks as ONGC soars on higher oil prices
(Corrects paragraph 8 to say passenger vehicle sales rose nearly 5%, not 13%, in November after the auto industry body corrected its numbers)
By Chris Thomas
BENGALURU, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Indian shares scaled record peaks on Friday and were set for a sixth straight weekly gain as Oil and Natural Gas Corp surged on the back of higher crude prices, with sentiment also supported by optimism over COVID-19 vaccines.
The NSE Nifty 50 index .NSEI rose 0.66% to 13,567.05 by 0511 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex .BSESN was up 0.66% at 46,261.33. Both the indexes were set to finish the week more than 2% higher.
ONGC ONGC.NS , which has lost nearly a third of its market value this year, climbed 10% after Brent rose above $50 for the first time since March, as coronavirus vaccination rollouts kept hopes alive that demand for crude would build up next year. O/R
Oil-to-retail conglomerate Reliance Industries RELI.NS gained 1.5%.
"Indications that demand is coming back and of a likely improvement in refining margins may now drive the beaten-down oil and gas sector to lead gains going forward," said Rusmik Oza, head of fundamental research at Kotak Securities in Mumbai.
"India is somewhat standing out among emerging markets because of the way the economy has bounced back even with meagre stimulus, showing that demand has normalised in the system."
Sentiment was also underpinned by data showing a steady decline in new coronavirus cases in India - the country with the second-highest caseload - where daily infections have dipped after hitting a peak in September. Nifty Auto Index .NIFTYAUTO gained 0.6% after data from an industry body showed passenger vehicle sales rose nearly 5% in November, boosted by festive demand.
Broader Asian shares were also higher after a panel of outside advisers to the U.S. health regulator overwhelmingly endorsed the emergency use of Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE )'s PFE.N coronavirus vaccine, with investors also watching U.S. fiscal stimulus talks and Brexit negotiations. MKTS/GLOB
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