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Nifty, Sensex climb as U.S. stimulus hopes boost global sentiment

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares touched a near five-month high on Tuesday, led by automaker and IT stocks, as markets across Asia and Europe gained on hopes for further U.S. stimulus, which could help cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, India, August 24, 2015. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

The NSE Nifty 50 index .NSEI ended 1.52% higher at 11,300.55, and the S&P BSE Sensex closed up 1.47% at 38,492.95. Both indexes touched their highest levels since early March in the session.

Markets in Europe and Asia booked gains as investors wagered the U.S. Federal Reserve would reaffirm its dovish stance this week, and a tolerance for higher inflation.

Europe's STOXX 600 .STOXX eked out a 0.2% rise after MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS ended up 0.8%.

U.S. Senate Republicans on Monday also proposed a $1 trillion coronavirus aid package as the virus pandemic has killed nearly 150,000 people in the country.

In Mumbai, the Nifty auto index .NIFTYAUTO rose 3.5%, its highest since Feb. 25. Car makers Mahindra and Mahindra MAHM.NS and Tata Motors TAMO.NS gained about 4.7% each.

India's second-most valuable stock Tata Consultancy Services TCS.NS rose as much as 5.1% and pushed up the Nifty IT index .NIFTYIT nearly 2.5%.

Ultratech Cement ULTC.NS rose 7.2% and topped the Nifty gainers after the company reported a better-than-expected profit for the quarter ended June.

ICICI Bank ICBK.NS was the top laggard, shedding 1.8%, followed by Bharti Infratel BHRI.NS, which dropped 1.7%.

India’s coronavirus cases touched 1.48 million by Tuesday morning, government data showed.

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli