Indian shares post monthly gain as COVID-19 cases fall, vaccinations speed up
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares ended slightly lower on Wednesday as heavyweight financials retreated but clocked their fourth straight monthly gain thanks to declining COVID-19 cases and a surge in vaccinations.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.17% to 15,721.50 and the S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.13% to 52,482.71.

Despite the losses, the indexes gained about 1% each for June as a dip in coronavirus infections, easing restrictions and speeding vaccinations sparked a rally that helped the indexes hit record highs.

In Mumbai trading on Wednesday, the Nifty Bank Index closed 0.68% lower after S&P Global Ratings said that the sector's weak loans would likely remain elevated at 11%-12% of gross loans in the next 12 to 18 months.

Private-sector lender ICICI Bank slid 1.4% and was among the top percentage losers on the Nifty 50.

The Nifty IT index bucked broader weakness to close 0.6% higher.

Analysts at ICICI Securities said they expect sequential revenue growth for IT companies to approach pre-COVID levels in the upcoming June quarter earnings, which will be kicked off by heavyweights Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys over the next few weeks.

Conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd rose 1.1% after the company signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co to build a multi-billion-dollar chemical project in Ruwais.

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