Indian shares gain on metals boost, U.S. vaccine approval

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

BENGALURU (Reuters) – India’s benchmark stock indexes rose on Tuesday, driven by metal shares after a recent correction, with sentiment aided by a full U.S. approval for a COVID-19 vaccine.

By 0507 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex were up 0.26% each, at 16,539.15 and 55,700.99, respectively.

The Nifty Metal index rebounded after four sessions of losses to climb as much as 2.55%, led by a 2.8%-3.2% gain among Vedanta, Hindalco, and Steel Authority of India.

Energy company GAIL rose as much as 5.1% after the Indian government, in a program aimed at boosting infrastructure spending and spurring economic growth, said it plans to monetise $81 billion worth of state assets over the next four years. This includes already built gas pipelines and roads, among others.

“If implemented effectively, the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) will help target two birds with one stone — fund crucial infrastructure projects yet keep fiscal consolidation plans on track without compromising on capex allocations,” Radhika Rao, senior vice president at DBS Bank, said in a note.

Asian stocks, meanwhile, tracked a bounce on Wall Street after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. [MKTS/GLOB]

“The approval has definitely impacted sentiment. Investors are also hoping the U.S. will not taper pandemic-related stimulus at a Federal Reserve symposium later this week, as cases continue to rise in that country,” said Sumit Pokharna, vice president research, at Kotak Securities.

Among other shares, Maruti Suzuki fell as much as 1.25% after the country’s antitrust regulator on Monday fined it 2 billion rupees ($27 million) for anti-competitive practices related to how it forced dealers to discount cars.

Home loan company Aptus Value Housing Finance and chemicals-maker Chemplast Sanmar fell about 2% each in their debuts.

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