Indian shares close at record high as COVID-19 cases fall, IT stocks rally

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A general view of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), after Sensex surpassed the 50,000 level for the first time, in Mumbai, India, January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Indian shares extended their record-high closing run to a fourth day on Tuesday as gains in IT and consumer stocks and falling domestic COVID-19 cases helped offset losses in metal and banking stocks and investor concerns around global economic growth.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) ended 0.31% higher at 16,614.6, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) was up 0.38% at 55,792.27.

Aiding sentiment, India recorded a sharp decline in daily new COVID-19 infections that fell to 25,166, the lowest since March 16, while it administered more than 8.8 million doses of vaccines in the past 24 hours, close to its all-time record set in June, government data showed. read more

The Nifty IT index (.NIFTYIT) ended up 2.57%, led by Tech Mahindra (TEML.NS), Infosys (INFY.NS), TCS (TCS.NS) and MindTree (MINT.NS), as the sector continued to be buoyed by positive earnings announcements and its lower exposure to the effects of COVID-19.

Consumer goods majors, including Tata Consumer (TACN.NS), Jubilant Foodworks (JUBI.NS), Nestle (NEST.NS) and Emami (EMAM.NS) boosted the Nifty FMCG index, which ended up 1.4%.

The Nifty PSU Bank index (.NIFTYPSU) slipped as much as 2.5% before closing 1.79% lower, dragged by losses in Indian Bank, Maharashtra Bank and Canara Bank among others.

Metals (.NIFTYMET) fell 2.30%, with Vedanta (VDAN.NS), Welspun Corp (WGSR.NS) and NMDC (NMDC.NS) among top losers.

Global shares stumbled on Tuesday, rattled by concerns over China's regulations for its internet sector, a worldwide spike in COVID-19 infections, and ahead of the release of U.S. retail sales data which is expected to offer further signs of slowing economic momentum.

In early European trade, the pan-European STOXX 600 (.STOXX) shed 0.5%, its lowest level in more than a week.

Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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