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Nifty, Sensex rise on vaccine optimism; Reliance gains

11/23/2020 | 05:34am

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares ended higher on Monday, as promising trial results from a coronavirus vaccine boosted investor sentiment globally, while Reliance Industries gained after it won regulatory approval for a $3.4 billion deal.

AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine could be around 90% effective without any serious side effects, it said on Monday, the latest in a string of upbeat vaccine trial results this month.

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University shot can be stored and transported in the fridge and does not require freezers, like other vaccines, making it a relatively easier option for developing nations including India, the second worst-hit country by the novel coronavirus.

The Nifty rose on the news and hit a record high, before settling 0.52% up at 12,926.45. The Sensex ended 0.44% higher at 44,077.15.

Reliance Industries, India's most valuable public company, advanced 2.7% after the country's competition watchdog approved its deal to buy Future Group's retail assets.

Among other major gainers on the Nifty 50, Infosys rose 3.3% and Tata Consultancy Services added 2.4%.

IndusInd Bank climbed 4.8% and IDFC First Bank jumped 9.7% after a central bank committee recommended wide-ranging changes to India's banking industry, including setting a higher cap for the size of promoters' stakes.

Small finance banks also advanced, with Equitas surging 12.9%, while Ujjivan added 20%.

Meanwhile, optimism that the imminent availability of coronavirus vaccines could spur a faster economic recovery pushed world stocks higher on Monday.

A top U.S. health official has also said the first coronavirus vaccines could be given to healthcare workers and others recommended by mid-December.

(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

© Reuters 2021
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