Indian shares rose on Thursday, lifted by a rally in metal stocks, as focus shifts to the start of another earnings season, even as coronavirus cases rose both at home and abroad. The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.64% to 10,774.50 by 0511 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.67% to 36,570.32.
A rise in Chinese iron ore futures and steel prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange boosted metal stocks in India, with the Nifty metal index advancing over 3%. Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, Steel Authority of India Ltd and Hindalco Industries Ltd each added 5%.
In broader Asia, shares rose as investors turned focus to upcoming company earnings, hoping that global stimulus efforts will yield upbeat outlooks. In Mumbai trading, Tata Consultancy Ltd rose as much as 1.15%, before giving up gains to trade 0.7% lower by 0540 GMT. The IT services firm is set to report quarterly results later in the day.
"Liquidity is pushing the markets higher, but with earnings coming in investors will take a fresh look at their portfolio," said Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit Financial Services in Kochi.
A surge in global liquidity as a result of central banks' response to the coronavirus crisis has propelled buying in Asian shares and helped Indian equity markets rally sharply since a crash in March.
Nifty and Sensex both scaled four-month peaks earlier this week
India, the third most affected country by the coronavirus, reported nearly 25,000 new infections as of Thursday morning, taking the total to 767,296 including 21,129 deaths, health ministry data showed.
"There are still concerns due to rising coronavirus infections but the pain or uncertainty as perceived by the market about the situation is lesser than what it was three months ago," James said.
The Nifty PSU Bank index, which tracks state-owned lenders rose half a percent, while the Nifty Private Bank index was up 0.75%.