Financials boost Indian shares; US inflation data eyed
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Indian shares closed up on Thursday, boosted by heavyweight financials stocks, with investors eyeing U.S. inflation data to gauge the Federal Reserve's stance on trimming stimulus measures.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.65% to 15,737.75 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.69% to 52,300.47 at close. Both the indexes are set for a fourth straight weekly gain.

The U.S. consumer price data, set to be released later in the day, could offer clues on when the Federal Reserve might tighten its dovish monetary policy, which could ultimately impact foreign fund flows into emerging markets such as India.

Investors were also looking for the outcome of the European Central Bank meeting where policymakers are expected to keep rates unchanged.

In Mumbai trading, Bajaj Finance Ltd, State Bank of India and HDFC Ltd were among the top boosts to the Nifty 50, gaining between 0.7% and 7.3%.

The Nifty PSU Bank Index, which tracks state-run banks, was a top performer among other sub-indexes with a 2.40% gain at close. It has lost 0.16% so far this week.

Shares of Infosys Ltd, which have risen in five of the last eight trading sessions, rose 0.6%, lifting the Nifty IT index up 0.94%. The index has gained nearly 3% this week.

Meanwhile, India reported 94,052 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, staying below 100,000 cases for the third straight day.

However, deaths rose by a record 6,148, the biggest single-day jump in the world, after a state raised its COVID-19 death toll sharply after the discovery of thousands of unreported cases.

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