Indian shares at record highs buoyed by vaccine progress

BENGALURU, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Indian shares posted another record high on Wednesday as the world’s second worst coronavirus-affected country considers approving vaccines for the public, raising bets of an economic recovery.

The country’s federal health secretary said on Tuesday the country may approve some coronavirus vaccines over the next few weeks and an estimated 300 million people would be inoculated in the first tranche.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.51% on Wednesday to 13,461.35 by 0345 GMT and was headed for a seventh consecutive session of gains, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.52% at 45,846.68. Both have hit record highs in 14 of the last 21 sessions.

India’s largest listed company Reliance Industries Ltd boosted the indexes with a gain of 1.1%. Consumer goods giant ITC Ltd led gains in percentage terms, rising 1.9% to its highest since Aug. 11.

Britain on Tuesday started a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Adding to market optimism, Johnson & Johnson said it could obtain late-stage trial results for a single-dose vaccine in January, earlier than expected. (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)