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Indian shares close marginally higher; financials, Reliance offset vaccine cheer
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Indian shares gave up most of their gains to end slightly higher on Tuesday, as optimism over the country's record surge in COVID-19 vaccinations was countered by losses in heavyweight financial stocks and conglomerate Reliance Industries.

The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex closed 0.03% higher at 52,588.71, while the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index gained 0.17% to end at 15,772.75.

Earlier in the day, the Sensex breached the 53,000 mark while the Nifty came within a whisker of its all-time high, as investor sentiment was lifted by India's record vaccination rollout of 8.3 million doses on Monday, and a recovery in global markets from four-week lows.

However, losses in financial stocks and Reliance, along with a broader pullback in global shares, weighed on the indexes.

The Nifty Bank Index lost 0.36%, clocking its fourth session of losses in five. Reliance fell 0.5%, snapping a three-day streak of gains, and was the top drag to the Nifty 50.

But automakers and construction-related sectors like cement, which are seen benefiting from the easing of pandemic-induced restrictions, rose.

The Nifty Auto Index closed 1.34% higher. Jefferies also said in a research note on Tuesday that India's auto demand is recovering again.

Maruti Suzuki was the top boost to the Nifty 50, jumping 5.3%.

Nifty 50 components Shree Cement and UltraTech Cement rose 3.6% and 1.2%, respectively, while construction giant Larsen & Toubro added 2.2% and was among the top boosts to the Nifty.

Globally, eyes are on U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's appearance before Congress for more clarity on the central bank's surprise hawkish shift last week.

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