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Indian shares rise in choppy trading as IT gains

BENGALURU, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Indian shares recovered on Wednesday after turning negative in choppy trading earlier, as a close U.S. presidential election pushed the dollar higher, boosting domestic IT shares, while Reliance Industries and pharma stocks supported gains.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.57% at 11,879.00 by 0845 GMT, and the S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.63% to 40,513.78.

In the United States, Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden said he was still optimistic of winning, while President Donald Trump responded saying he had won, and that “they” were trying to steal the election, without providing evidence.

Globally, share markets were whipsawed, while bonds and the dollar rose, as the election proved far closer than polls had predicted.

The Nifty 50 turned negative and hit a session low around 0800 GMT, but soon returned to positive territory in volatile trading.

Investors most feared a contested election outcome, said Ajay Bodke, chief executive at Prabhudas Lilladher, a portfolio management service company in Mumbai.

“The next 24 hours are crucial and markets are waiting to see if Trump will follow through on his threat of legal action if there is a contested election,” he said.

The Indian rupee weakened by 0.45% to 74.7400 against the dollar by 0840 GMT, boosting shares of IT services firms that mostly earn their revenue in dollars but report it in rupees.

The Nifty IT index rose as much as 3.5%, led by Infosys and Wipro which were last up more than 2% each.

Drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries was up nearly 5% after reporting upbeat quarterly profit, boosting the Nifty pharma index, which was last up 2.2%.

Oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance, India’s most valuable company, recovered from two sessions of losses to trade around 3.3% higher.

India’s biggest lender State Bank of India fell 2.1% after reporting a rise in quarterly profits. (Reporting by Derek Francis, Sethuraman N.R. and Sachin Ravikumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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