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Indian shares jump on economic growth data, widening vaccination drive
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares closed higher on Monday after the country kicked off an expansion of its COVID-19 vaccine campaign and data showed that the economy returned to growth in the December quarter.

The NSE Nifty 50 index gained 1.6% to end at 14,761.55, while the S&P BSE Sensex closed 1.53% higher at 49,849.84.

Both the indexes slumped nearly 4% on Friday as rising bond yields sparked a massive sell-off in global equities.

But with bond yields easing from last week's peaks and the U.S. House passing a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, the MSCI world equity index firmed 0.5% on Monday.

Aiding sentiment at home was news that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was inoculated with the first dose of a home-grown coronavirus vaccine, beginning an expansion of the country's immunisation drive.

Meanwhile, data on Friday showed that the country's gross domestic product grew 0.4% in October to December, compared with a revised contraction of 7.3% in July to September.

Private sector lenders were the top boost to the Nifty. The Nifty private bank index advanced 1.4%, led by a 3.7% jump in Kotak Mahindra Bank.

The Nifty media index gained the most among sectoral indexes, closing 4.3% higher.

The Nifty auto index added 2.4%, with carmaker Maruti Suzuki India rising 2.2% after it reported a near 12% rise in February sales.

Bharti Airtel ended down 4.3% and was the sole decliner on the Nifty 50. Rival Vodafone Idea finished 1.77% lower.

The losses came after Reliance Jio said on Friday it would offer mobile phones and unlimited services for two years at 1,999 rupees ($27.16).

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