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Indian shares pare gains as coronavirus cases surge past 21 mln

05/06/2021 | 01:38am EDT

BENGALURU, May 6 (Reuters) - Indian shares trimmed early gains on Thursday as a record surge in domestic coronavirus infections fuelled worries that the second wave of the pandemic could derail a nascent recovery seen in Asia's third-largest economy.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.06% at 14,626.85 by 0503 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex dipped 0.06% to 48,649.57, after an early uptick led by metal stocks on strong steel prices and solid results from Tata Steel.

India reported more than 400,000 coronavirus infections over the last 24 hours, taking the total tally past 21 million, while deaths rose by a record 3,980, health ministry data showed.

The surge in infections has overwhelmed India's healthcare system, forced state lockdowns, and prompted several economists to cut projections, but the stock market is focused on corporate earnings amid abundant liquidity, analysts say.

"Although the news on the coronavirus front is still a concern, there is abundant liquidity which is keeping the momentum in markets alive, especially with increased participation from retail and HNI investors," said Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets, referring to high net-worth individuals.

Investors may wait to see when the second wave would peak and gauge its hit to the economy, V K Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services, said in a note.

"IT, pharma, metals and telecom are likely to remain resilient even under difficult times," he said.

Tata Steel jumped 5.5% after beating quarterly profit estimates, driving rival JSW Steel more than 3% higher and pushing the Nifty Metal index up 2.7%.

Two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp climbed nearly 5% ahead of its quarterly results, while rival Bajaj Auto rose 3%.

State-run lender IDBI Bank surged nearly 15% after the government on Wednesday approved a stake sale.

Cipla Ltd gained as much as 3.2% after India gave emergency use approval for a COVID-19 antibody drug cocktail developed by Roche and Regeneron for which Cipla is the local distribution partner. (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BAJAJ AUTO LIMITED -0.18% 4172.5 End-of-day quote.10.30%
CIPLA LIMITED -0.65% 967.85 Delayed Quote.18.04%
HERO MOTOCORP LIMITED -0.12% 3004.45 End-of-day quote.-3.37%
HNI CORPORATION 0.09% 45.73 Delayed Quote.32.70%
IDBI BANK LIMITED -0.26% 39 End-of-day quote.25.40%
JSW STEEL LIMITED 3.56% 731.05 End-of-day quote.88.76%
REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS -1.22% 525.55 Delayed Quote.8.78%
ROCHE HOLDING AG 0.37% 342 Delayed Quote.10.68%
TATA STEEL LIMITED 3.99% 1159.05 End-of-day quote.80.10%
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