Banks buoy Indian shares; coronavirus cases cross 20 mln


A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, India, February 1, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

Indian shares edged higher on Tuesday, supported by gains in financials and metal stocks, even as the country crossed the grim milestone of 20 million coronavirus cases.

The NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) rose 0.24% to 14,669.95 by 0355 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) inched up 0.2% to 48,813.62.

India reported 357,229 new COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, taking the total tally to 20.28 million, health ministry data showed. read more

The second wave of COVID-19 infections has overwhelmed the healthcare system and forced states to enter lockdowns, but has not hit the equity market as hard as in the initial wave last year. The Nifty is up about 5% so far in 2021.

On Tuesday, the Nifty Bank index (.NSEBANK) rose 1.1%, while the Nifty Metal index (.NIFTYMET) advanced 1.8% to a record high.

Nifty 50 component Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSE.NS) climbed 2.4% ahead of its quarterly results.

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