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Indian shares post record closing highs in catch-up trade

Published 17-11-2020, 04:07 pm

BENGALURU, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Indian shares notched record closing highs on Tuesday, playing catch-up with overseas gains after a long holiday weekend and bolstered by news that U.S. drugmaker Moderna Inc's coronavirus vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing infection.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index .NSEI ended up 0.74% at 12,874.20, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex .BSESN closed 0.72% higher at 43,952.71.

Markets had eked out modest gains in a one-hour special "muhurat" trading session for Diwali on Saturday, and were closed on Monday.

Moderna Inc MRNA.O became the second drugmaker after Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) PFE.N to announce promising trial data in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, pushing global markets higher. MKTS/GLOB

Moderna's vaccine is expected to be stable at normal fridge temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (36 to 48°F) for 30 days, making it easier for storage and transportation than Pfizer's vaccine.

Indian equities have gained more than 10% so far in November, helped by signs of a demand recovery, a strong earnings season, and higher fund inflows.

Daily coronavirus infections in the country have also been falling since hitting a peak in September, and cases in the last 24 hours rose by their lowest since mid-July. Mumbai, the Nifty Bank Index .NSEBANK closed 2.05% higher and the Nifty Metal Index .NIFTYMET ended up 2.49%.

HDFC Bank Ltd HDBK.NS was the top boost to the Nifty, rising 2.8%.

Tata Steel Ltd TISC.NS closed 6.2% higher after the company late on Friday said it was in talks with Swedish steelmaker SSAB SSABa.ST to sell its Dutch steel mill and related assets.

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