Indian shares gain, Reliance Industries among top boosts

BENGALURU, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Indian shares tracked Asian markets higher on Wednesday, boosted by gains in Reliance Industries Ltd after the conglomerate said it acquired online pharmacy Netmeds for $83 million.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.53% to 11,447.60 by 0348 GMT and the S&P BSE Sensex 0.57% to 38,750.91. Both indexes are up for a third straight session and the Nifty briefly scaled levels last seen on Feb. 27.

Reliance Industries climbed as much as 1.56% in early trade after the company, late on Tuesday, said it bought a majority stake in licensed e-pharma portal Netmeds.

Asian shares rose to a seven-month peak after the S&P 500 index closed at an all-time high overnight and the Nasdaq scaled records after some major U.S. retailers reported strong sales growth.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases in India stood at 2.77 million as of Wednesday and deaths at 52,889, government data showed.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V