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Indian shares settle up as record high commodity prices lift metal stocks
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares closed higher for a fourth straight session on Monday as a rally in commodity prices lifted metal stocks and mortgage lender HDFC extended gains after posting better-than-expected quarterly results.

The NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.8% higher at 14,942.35 and the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.6% to 49,502.41. Last week, the indexes gained 1.3% and 0.9%, respectively.

Boosted by liquidity support measures from global central banks, the stock market has looked past a rapid rise in domestic coronavirus cases and calls to impose a nationwide lockdown.

Several states have already entered lockdowns to curb the spread, which has led economists to cut growth expectations for Asia's third-largest economy.

Analysts say positive global cues like demand outlook, rise in commodity prices and the availability of liquidity is taking the immediate focus away from the surge in infections that has overwhelmed India's healthcare system.

Metal shares scaled a fresh peak and ended up 3.14% as iron ore futures and copper prices hit record highs on hopes for improved demand amid tightening supply. 

Heavyweight HDFC Ltd closed 1.33% higher, extending gains from last week after the lender beat analysts' expectations for quarterly profit.

Coal India finished the session 7.45% higher and was the top gainer on the Nifty. The state-run firm will continue to supply coal to power plants under import substitution in the current fiscal, according to a PTI report carried by the Times of India newspaper.

Pharma stocks also clocked gains. Drugmakers Cipla, Lupin and Sun Pharma rose between 1.97% and 2.76% after U.S.-based Eli Lilly and Co signed licensing agreements with the drugmakers.

Among decliners, Nifty 50 component Hero MotoCorp fell 0.86% after the two-wheeler maker said it was extending closure of its manufacturing facilities due to rising COVID-19 cases.

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