Indian shares end higher, state-run lenders climb on capital infusion

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Gains in metal and auto stocks helped Indian shares rise more than 1% on Thursday, while capital infusion by the government in some state-run lenders lifted public-sector banks.

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, February 26, 2016. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/Files

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index closed 1.2% higher at 14,867.35, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex gained 1.1% to 50,029.83.

“Commodity prices have gone up, so metals are doing well, said Samrat Dasgupta, chief executive of Esquire Capital Investment Advisors in Mumbai.

He added that the market was also seeing short-covering ahead of the weekly expiry of derivatives contracts and a long weekend.

Indian markets will be closed for a holiday on Friday. They booked a weekly gain of 2%, after declining 1.6% last week.

Leading the charge on Thursday, the Nifty metals index and the Nifty auto index advanced 5.33% and 1.6%, respectively.

Ashok Leyland, Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra gained between 1.5% and 3.8% after posting strong March sales numbers.

The Indian government on Wednesday infused a total of 145 billion rupees ($1.98 billion) in state-run lenders Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of India, Central Bank of India and UCO Bank.

Shares of Indian Overseas Bank jumped 6%, Central Bank rose 5%, while Bank of India and UCO Bank gained 3% and 4.1%, respectively.

Meanwhile, India rolled back its decision to lower interest rates on the small savings scheme, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

World stocks also ran higher as U.S. President Joe Biden’s sweeping $2.3 trillion plan to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure lifted sentiment.

($1 = 73.4150 rupees)

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