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Sensex, Nifty end higher for eighth session; metal, pharma stocks gain
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares ended higher for an eighth straight session on Wednesday, hitting record highs driven by drugmaker and metal stocks, even though a dip in Reliance Industries limited gains.

The NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.93% higher at 12,749.15 and the S&P BSE Sensex firmed 0.73% to 43,593.67.

Both indexes have gained over 9% since the start of the month and have recovered nearly 70% from their lowest level this year in March, when India first went into a lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus.

"The pandemic has played the role of a catalyst by bringing cost efficiencies and balance sheet discipline across sectors and companies," said Sachin Shah, a fund manager at Emkay Investment Managers Ltd.

"A slight tailwind in the economic growth and an uptick in aggregate demand will set India Inc for a multi-year earnings growth trajectory."

In the Mumbai market, the Nifty metals index climbed 3.5%.

Miner Hindalco rose 7.8% after it posted higher copper sales during the September quarter, despite a fall in quarterly profit.

Tata Steel advanced 7.7% after reports that the company will likely finalise the sale of its European business this week and Sweden's SSAB was the front runner in buying the unit.

Drugmaker Dr. Reddy's Labs gained over 4.2%, helping the Nifty Pharma index rise 3.6%.

Reliance dropped 4.2%. Reuters reported that Amazon.com Inc has accused Future Group, which agreed to sell its retail business to the oil-to-telecoms conglomerate in August, of insider trading as it sought to block the deal.

Data from India's telecom regulator on Tuesday also showed Reliance's telecom arm added fewer customers in August compared to rival Bharti Airtel.

Meanwhile, MSCI world equity index gained 0.1% on Wednesday as news of a potential COVID-19 vaccine offset worries of rising infections.

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