Indian shares settle higher as metals rally; LIC slides on debut

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A man walks past a hoarding of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) after the press conference of the LIC initial public offering (IPO) launch in Mumbai, India, April 27, 2022. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

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BENGALURU, May 17 (Reuters) - Indian shares extended gains to a second session as metal stocks rallied over hopes of revival in demand as top consumer China steps out of COVID related lockdowns, even as Life Insurance Corp of India slid in its market debut.

The NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) settled 2.63% higher at 16,259.30, while the S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) closed 2.54% higher at 54,318.47.

Nifty's metal sub-index (.NIFTYMET) saw its best session since April 2020 and closed 6.9% higher as London copper and Dalian iron ore prices advanced on optimism COVID-19 lockdowns easing in China would lead to an improvement in demand.

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Aluminium and copper producer Hindalco Industries (HALC.NS) and Tata Steel (TISC.NS) were the top two percentage gainers on the Nifty 50 index, closing 9.6% and 7.7% higher, respectively.

On the Nifty 50 index, 49 of the 50 stocks settled higher and all major sub-indexes also clocked gains on Tuesday.

Auto components maker Automotive Axles (ATOA.NS) closed 12.2% higher after it reported a rise in March-quarter profit.

The Indian rupee gradually recovered after touching a record low of 77.7975 against the dollar on Tuesday, after the central bank intervened while bond yields edged higher tracking the uptick in global crude oil prices. The rupee settled at 77.565.

Optimism over easing lockdowns in China also supported positive momentum in broader Asia.

Meanwhile, shares of state-owned Life Insurance Corp of India (LIC) (LIFI.NS) slid in their market debut and closed 7.8% lower on Tuesday. read more

"LIC was never considered a listing gain candidate, considering the market risk, and if you are investing in LIC, that is taking indirect exposure to equity markets as their maximum assets under management go to equity investments with inherent volatility that comes with it," said Prashanth Tapse, vice president of research at Mehta Equities.

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Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Krishna Chandra Eluri

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