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Indian shares end flat as financials negate IT gains
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares gave up early gains to close flat on Tuesday as heavyweight financials negated support from IT and metal stocks, while the country reported its lowest daily rise in COVID-19 infections in more than a month.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index gained 0.07% to 15,208.45, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was 0.03% lower at 50,637.53. Both the indexes touched their highest in more than two months earlier in the day.

The Nifty PSU Bank Index and the Nifty Bank Index ended 1.34% and 0.81% lower, respectively. Private-sector lenders HDFC Bank Ltd and Axis Bank Ltd were among the top drags on the Nifty 50.

The Nifty IT Index ended 0.96% higher and the Nifty metal index closed up 0.61%.

Risk appetite has been aided by a steady decline in daily COVID-19 cases in India. On Tuesday, the country reported 196,427 new infections, while deaths rose by 3,511.

Barclays, however, cut its full-year 2021-22 economic growth forecast for India, saying the toll from stringent lockdowns imposed to curb rising infections appeared to be bigger than its earlier expectation.

Earlier this month, ratings agency Moody's Investors Service had said the second wave would slow India's near-term economic recovery and could weigh on longer-term growth dynamics.

Among other notable stocks that gained, restaurant chain Barbeque-Nation ended 17.6% higher on strong March-quarter results.

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