Indian shares end higher as banks, metal stocks gain
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares closed higher on Tuesday, boosted by gains in banks and metal stocks, as investors looked ahead to a slew of blue-chip corporate earnings later this week.

The NSE Nifty 50 index closed 1.16% up at 14,653.05, while the S&P BSE Sensex added 1.15% to end at 48,944.14.

The two indexes have retreated 5.0% and 6.8% from record highs hit in February as domestic COVID-19 cases have continued to surge. The country reported 323,144 new cases on Tuesday, the sixth consecutive time new daily cases crossed the 300,000-mark.

Benchmark heavyweights Hindustan Unilever Ltd and Reliance Industries Ltd are set to report results later this week.

"The market expectation is that corporate results will be good, if not great, and we've seen some earning upgrades already," Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets said.

"The downward trend of cases in the financial capital of Mumbai is also being seen as a good sign, even though cases are rising elsewhere".

Daily COVID-19 cases in Mumbai have reduced since the state of Maharashtra imposed a lockdown on April 14, and cities like Delhi and Bengaluru are following suit.

Support from other countries and private sector players was also aiding sentiment, Gandhi said, as Britain and France contributed medical supplies and local media reported the formation of a task force by 40 U.S. companies to help mobilise resources.

Among sectors, metal stocks led gains as it gained 2.7%, with Tata Steel jumping 3.9%.

State-owned banks ended 2.3% higher, while private banks advanced 1.4%.

Energy stocks also ended higher, with heavyweight Reliance Industries adding 2.6%.

Shares of the country's largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, fell more than 1% as the company reported a drop in quarterly profit on Tuesday.

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