Indian shares hit record highs as govt set to roll out vaccines

Indian shares inched higher to record levels on Wednesday, extending a months-long rally driven by foreign fund flows, while the country gets ready to roll out a Covid-19 vaccination programme by next week.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.24% to 14,234.00 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.19% to 48,528.69 by 0352 GMT.

Both indexes have now hit record highs in all trading sessions of the new year, helped by continued foreign fund inflows and progress on Covid-19 vaccines.

Foreign investors pumped more than $20 billion into Indian equities last year, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

On Tuesday, India’s top health official said the country was set to roll out a Covid-19 vaccination programme by next week, aiming to cover 300 million people by July.

In Mumbai trading, HDFC Bank rose 0.4% and was among the top boosts to the Nifty 50, after the country’s largest private-sector lender reported higher advances and deposits as of Dec. 31, 2020.

Titan Company rose 2.5% after reporting strong results in its jewellery and watches and wearables divisions for the third quarter.

Broader global markets fell as investors prepared for a possible Democrat triumph in Senate runoffs in the US battleground state of Georgia.

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