BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares were little changed on Wednesday as investors locked in gains after a record-setting rally, and surging coronavirus cases globally took the focus away from upbeat vaccine trial results.
The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.1% to 12,861.75 by 0500 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex eased 0.03% to 43,938.35. The Nifty 50 hit an all-time high on Tuesday, having gained 1.4% in the last two sessions.
Globally, equities stepped back after soft U.S. retail sales data and new coronavirus restrictions in several U.S. states dampened euphoria from vaccine trial breakthroughs. ]
In India, New Delhi planned more curbs, including lockdowns of some markets, as the capital city battles its worst phase in the pandemic, although new infections in other cities are falling.
The surge in infections in New Delhi and elsewhere globally comes as investors hail two promising vaccine trial results published this month, from Pfizer and Moderna.
Optimism around vaccines becoming available and sustained inflows from foreign institutional investors should keep sentiment in Indian markets positive, said Siddharth Khemka, head of research for retail at Motilal Oswal Securities in Mumbai.
“Profit-booking might pull down the market for some time, but we don’t expect a huge downtick from here,” Khemka said.
“In the near-term, we expect markets to continue their upward journey.”
On the Nifty 50, IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services and consumer products giant Hindustan Unilever Ltd were the top two drags, falling 1% and 2% respectively.
Shares in Lakshmi Vilas Bank fell 20% after India placed the troubled lender under a moratorium.
State-run lenders rallied and the index tracking them climbed 2.2%, with all its 12 constituents clocking gains. State Bank of India hit its highest level since mid-March.
Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu
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