BENGALURU, May 17 (Reuters) - Indian shares closed more than
1% higher on Monday, boosted by gains in financial stocks, as
investor sentiment improved after domestic coronavirus cases
fell below the 300,000 mark for the first time since April 21.
The NSE Nifty 50 index settled 1.67% higher at
14,923.15, snapping a three-session losing streak, while the
benchmark S&P BSE Sensex ended up 1.74% at 49,580.73.
Last week, both indexes lost 0.9% after worries over higher
U.S. inflation triggered a sell-off in global markets.
"The decline in the speed of new cases is helping domestic
markets," said Narendra Solanki, head of equity research
(fundamental) at Anand Rathi Investment Services.
"At this rate, lockdowns might not continue for too long and
investor sentiment is upbeat."
However, Moody's Investors Service warned on Monday that the
second severe wave of coronavirus infections would delay
earnings recovery for Indian companies. Last week, the ratings
agency had warned that the second wave would slow near-term
India reported 281,386 new coronavirus infections over the
last 24 hours, helped by extended lockdowns in some
On Monday, financial stocks were the top boost to the Nifty.
Nifty's Bank index closed 4.01% higher, while the PSU
Bank index and financials index each
settled over 3% higher.
Shares of Federal Bank ended up 2.39% after it
logged a rise in March-quarter profit.
The Nifty Auto index added 1.9%, led by a
10.43% rise in Balkrishna Industries after the tyre
maker posted a rise in quarterly profit on Friday.
Bucking the trend, Pharma stocks gave up early
gains to settle 0.19% lower and were among the only two
sub-sectors to close in the red.
Shares of Bharti Airtel closed 1.92% lower ahead
of its March-quarter results.
(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru;
Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)