July 20, 2020 / 4:17 AM / 19 days ago

Sensex, Nifty gain for fourth day as HDFC Bank adds to earnings momentum

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares ended higher for a fourth straight session on Monday as HDFC Bank’s (HDBK.NS) results added to last week’s upbeat showing from IT companies, countering the impact of a surge in domestic coronavirus cases past one million.

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, India, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

The NSE Nifty 50 index .NSEI closed up 1.11% at 11,022.2 and the S&P BSE Sensex .BSESN ended about 1.08% higher at 37,418.99, led by financial and IT stocks.

India’s biggest private-sector lender, HDFC Bank on Saturday reported a 20% rise in first-quarter profit, sending its shares up as much as 4.96%.

The Nifty banking index and the Nifty financials index .NIFTYFIN gained about 1.6% each on optimism from the lender’s results. Shadow bank Bajaj Finance (BJFN.NS) rose 4.2%.

HDFC Bank’s results followed three IT majors — Infosys (INFY.NS), Wipro (WIPR.NS) and HCL Technologies (HCLT.NS) — which also reported profits that beat expectations over the last week.

The Nifty IT index .NIFTYIT ended 2.5% higher and was the top percentage gainer among indexes. Sector heavyweights Infosys, HCL and Wipro all rose over 4%.

Biscuit maker Britannia Industries (BRIT.NS), which also reported a higher profit for the quarter to June on Friday, advanced 5.34% and topped the gainers among Nifty stocks.

The rally in domestic equities offset worries about a continued surge in India’s coronavirus cases that touched 1.1 million by Monday morning, a rise of 40,425 cases over the previous day, according to government data.

Epidemiologists have said the country is still likely months away from hitting its peak.

Among laggards in Mumbai were pharma stocks, with Sun Pharma (SUN.NS) shedding 3.7% and Cipla (CIPL.NS) dropping 2%, dragging the Nifty Pharma index .NIPHARM about 1.5%.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (GLEN.NS) dropped as much as 5.8% after local media reported that India’s drug regulator had sent a notice to the company on overpricing and false claims of its generic version of favipiravir, FabiFlu.

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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