Nifty, Sensex rise on pharma boost, Cipla hits record high

Indian shares rose on Monday, with the Nifty 50 extending gains into a fifth session, as a slew of upbeat pharma earnings reports and a rally in defence stocks helped investors look past concerns over surging coronavirus cases.

The NSE Nifty 50 index climbed 0.76% to 11,299.60 by 0500 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex was 0.71% higher at 38,307.59.

In Mumbai trading, gains were seen across the board with 10 of the 11 major sectoral indexes trading higher. The Nifty Pharma index advanced the most, rising 4.3% to a four-year high.

Robust quarterly results helped Divi Laboratories Ltd and Cipla Ltd scale record highs, rising as much as 18.3% and 6.6%, respectively.

“Numbers coming out of the pharma space are supporting positive momentum,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice president research at SMC Global Securities in New Delhi.

Defence stocks rallied after the government said it would stop importing 101 items of military equipment in an effort to boost domestic defence production.

Shares of defence equipment manufacturers Bharat Electronics, Bharat Dynamics Ltd and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd rose in a range of 10% to 14%.

Reliance Industries Ltd gained as much as 0.9% after a report here said Saudi Aramco was still working on a deal to buy a stake in the conglomerate.

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases in the world’s second-most populous country jumped to more than 2.2 million by Monday morning, including 44,386 deaths, health ministry data showed.

Asian Paints Ltd and Maruti Suzuki India were among the top losers on the Nifty 50 index.

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