Indian shares bounce back from Ukraine sell-off, snap 7-day losing run

People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, November 4, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Indian shares snapped a 7-day losing streak to close more than 2% higher on Friday, a day after their worst fall in over a year following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) ended up 2.53% at 16,658.40, and the S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) rose 2.44% to 55,858.52. Both the indexes had plunged more than 4% on Thursday.

The benchmarks still fell for a third straight week, dropping more than 3% each, with the Nifty seeing its biggest weekly decline since late November.

"The bounce back in the markets being seen today is a counter to the exaggerated reaction we saw yesterday led by the fears of fully blown out armed conflict between NATO and Russia," said Nitin Raheja, head of discretionary equities at Julius Baer.

As it became obvious that NATO countries have no desire for an armed conflict and would instead take the sanctions route, the risk perception lowered globally, Raheja added.

Meanwhile, the Indian central bank's minutes from its February meeting showed that some loss of momentum in India's economic growth due to a third COVID-19 wave and inflation's downward trend made the monetary policy committee retain its policy rate and stance. read more

State-run Coal India (COAL.NS), which led gains on the Nifty 50, rose nearly 9%. The coal ministry said it was considering partnering with private companies to operate mines which had been shut by Coal India or where production had been discontinued. read more

Apollo Hospitals Enterprise (APLH.NS) was 5.7% higher after the National Stock Exchange said it would be added in the Nifty 50 index from March 31, replacing Indian Oil Corp (IOC.NS).

Nifty's metal index (.NIFTYMET) and public sector bank index (.NIFTYPSU) were among the top gainers, rising 5.7% and 4.7%, respectively.

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Vinay Dwivedi

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