Indian shares surge in glitch-ridden session as banks gain
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Indian shares closed sharply higher in a glitch-ridden, extended session on Wednesday, led by gains in financial stocks after private-sector lenders were allowed to carry out government transactions.

The NSE Nifty 50 index ended 1.86% higher at 14,982.00, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 2.07% to 50,781.69.

The top three boosts to the Nifty 50 were financial and banking stocks, which surged in extended trading, pushing the Nifty private bank index higher by 3.9%.

The sub-index snapped a six-session losing streak to advance the most among the 14 major sectoral indexes.

HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank were among the top gainers, closing 5% and 4% higher, respectively.

An embargo on private-sector banks to carry out government-related transactions including taxes and pension payments has been lifted, the finance ministry said on Wednesday, which analysts said was a positive for these lenders.

Wednesday's trade was marred by technical disruptions caused by a telecoms glitch, which forced the National Stock Exchange - India's biggest bourse - to halt trading for nearly four hours.

Analysts said some stock moves after the resumption of trade at around 1005 GMT reflected frantic trading to square off positions ahead of the expiry of February derivative contracts due tomorrow.

Indian equities rose sharply in the first two weeks of February, thanks to solid corporate earnings and a well-received federal budget, before trimming some of those gains due to profit-taking. With Wednesday's gains, the Nifty 50 is now up 9.9% in February.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries extended gains for a second day, settling 1.9% higher.

The Nifty IT services index was the only sector to finish lower, falling 0.11% amid an appreciation in the rupee which hit a near one-year high on Wednesday. A stronger rupee weighs on earnings of IT services firms, which receive a bulk of their revenues from overseas customers.

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