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Sensex, Nifty end flat as some banks fall, Reliance gains
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares ended little changed on Tuesday after hitting a record high earlier in the session, as weakness in private-sector banks offset gains in Reliance Industries.

Domestic benchmark indexes have climbed 12% this month after a high-spending federal budget and strong corporate earnings, spurring hopes that Asia's third-largest economy can quickly bounce back from a pandemic-induced slowdown.

The NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.01% lower at 15,313.45 on Tuesday, while the S&P BSE Sensex ended down 0.1% at 52,104.17. Earlier in the day, both the indexes hit record highs for a second consecutive session.

The Nifty banking index fell 0.56% after surging 3.32% on Monday. Private-sector lenders ICICI and Axis fell more than 2% each and were among the top drags on the Nifty 50.

The Nifty PSU bank index, which tracks state-run lenders, jumped 1.65% after Reuters reported that the government had shortlisted four banks for potential privatisation.

Shares in the lenders - Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Bank of India and Central Bank of India - each ended 20% higher.

Conglomerate Reliance Industries rose 1.3% and was the biggest boost to the Nifty 50.

Metal stocks rose 2.89%. Tata Steel jumped 3.8%, while Jindal Steel climbed 7%.

Globally, stocks were higher on hopes that COVID-19 vaccinations and a massive U.S. stimulus package will lead to a lasting economic recovery.

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