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Indian shares close higher as IT, financial stocks gain
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares ended higher on Wednesday, riding on gains in information technology and financial stocks as sentiment was bolstered by a steady drop in COVID-19 cases.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.61% higher at 15,301.45, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.75% to 51,017.52.

Equities also got a boost after US Federal Reserve officials reaffirmed a dovish monetary policy stance, reassuring investors worried about the prospect of rising inflation.

On Tuesday, India reported its lowest daily rise in cases in more than a month.

Total infections have now crossed 27 million, with deaths rising by 4,157 in the last 24 hours, according to the health ministry's data released on Wednesday.

Software services giant Infosys Ltd and mortgage lender HDFC Ltd were among the biggest boosts to the Nifty 50, gaining 2.6% and 1.5% at close, respectively. The Nifty IT Index ended 1.76% higher.

Investor sentiment also improved after a Business Standard report said the Indian economy is likely to have grown 0.6% to 2.1% in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2020-21, compared with the government's prediction of a contraction. 

However, for the entire FY21, gross domestic product is expected to contract 7% to 8%, the report added, citing independent economists and rating agencies the newspaper surveyed.

Among stock losers, Nifty component Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd closed 0.5% lower ahead of its March-quarter earnings.

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