Picture used for illustrative purpose. File
Indian stocks rose for a fifth straight session on Tuesday, led by automaker and energy stocks, as hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine and strong earnings momentum eclipsed fears over surging domestic cases.
The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.95% to 11,126.3 by 0504 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.99% at 37,791.24, after hitting their highest levels since March 5 in early trade.
Wall Street gained overnight and Asian shares rose further on hopes that vaccines against the COVID-19 disease might be ready by the end of year, following promising early data from trials of three candidates.
This helped offset concerns over a surge in coronavirus cases in Asia's third largest economy to 1.16 million as of Tuesday morning, including 28,084 deaths, according to government data.
"Markets have been positively surprised by earnings from some of the index movers this quarter, and it also doesn't look like we are going to see any major setback in global markets which have continuously supported domestic sentiment," said Ajit Mishra, vice president, research at Religare Broking Ltd, New Delhi.
"However... the upside may be capped now and we may see some consolidation and profit taking."
Cement maker ACC Ltd surged 7% to a near five-month high after reporting profit that beat estimates.
The Nifty PSU Bank Index, which tracks state-owned lenders, was the best sectoral performer, rising as much as 2.7%, after Reuters reported that India is looking to privatise more than half of its state-owned banks.
Bank of India surged 9.6%, while Central Bank of India jumped 18.1%. Private-sector lender ICICI Bank Ltd rose 3.1%.
Shares of automakers Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Eicher Motors Ltd climbed 3.8% each, pushing the Nifty Auto Index 1.9% higher.
Refiner BPCL was the top gainer on the Nifty, rising as much as 6.2%, while conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd rose 2.2%.
The NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.15% at 9,897.85 by 0528 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.05% to 33,523.63.
The U.S. currency gained more than 0.2% against a basket of currencies, as risk sentiment soured in early trading in Europe.
Markets rose last week after unexpectedly strong U.S. jobs data despite some American states reporting record new coronavirus infections.
Global shares stumbled on Friday as hopes of a fiscal boost from a $1.9 trillion US stimulus plan were smothered by the prospect of stricter lockdowns in France and Germany and a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in China.
The Italian government has approved a new stimulus package worth 32 billion euros ($38.8 billion) to prop up the battered economy, pushing this year’s budget deficit significantly higher than previously planned.
Pakistan and Bangladesh are rationing gas and buyers across South Asia are seeking alternative fuels after spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices surged to record highs, government and industry officials told Reuters.