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Indian shares post best day in 2 weeks as ICICI Bank, Reliance climb
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares posted their sharpest daily rise in nearly two weeks on Monday, spurred by gains in ICICI Bank Ltd following strong quarterly results, even as more regions in the country went into lockdown to curb a surge in coronavirus cases.

After three straight weeks of losses, the NSE Nifty 50 index ended 1% higher at 14,485 on Monday, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex closed up 1.06% at 48,386.51. The indexes have shed around 6% and 8%, respectively, from February peaks.

The southern Indian state of Karnataka, home to tech hub Bengaluru, will impose a lockdown for two weeks starting Tuesday evening, the state's chief minister said, as total COVID-19 cases in India surged by 352,991 over the last 24 hours.

The record surge in infections has overwhelmed India's healthcare system and prompted nations like the United States to offer aid.

In Mumbai trading, ICICI Bank was the biggest boost as it added 3.7% after reporting a more than three-fold surge in March-quarter profit, while HCL Technologies slid 2.8% on downbeat earnings.

Mphasis Ltd pared gains after rising as much as 6.5% after U.S. private equity firm Blackstone made an offer to buy an additional stake in the IT outsourcing services provider for more than $1 billion. The stock closed up 1.6%.

Reliance Industries Ltd gained 1.8% after the company and British energy giant BP Plc announced the start of production from a gas field off the east coast of India.

Nifty 50 component Tech Mahindra closed up 1.3% ahead of its quarterly results.

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