Sensex, Nifty Hit Record High After India Approves COVID Vaccines

Mumbai: Indian shares hit record highs on Monday to kick off the first trading week of the new year after the country gave emergency use approvals to two coronavirus vaccines over the weekend.

The blue chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.50% to 14,087.95 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.43% to 48,077.13 by 0347 GMT.

The Nifty gained nearly 15% in 2020, its best year since 2017, while the Sensex gained 15.75%. Both indexes recovered more than 86% from a virus-driven crash in March, boosted by liquidity support measures from global central banks and progress on COVID-19 vaccines.

In Mumbai trading, the Nifty Bank Index rose 0.69% and the Nifty IT index was up 0.80%. Tata Motors was the biggest percentage gainer on the Nifty 50, rising 2.4% after the company on Friday reported a 21% rise in December domestic sales.

India’s drugs regulator on Sunday approved for emergency use two coronavirus vaccines – one developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and the other by local company Bharat Biotech.

India plans to inoculate some 300 million people on a priority list this year.

On Saturday India held nationwide drills to prepare more than 90,000 health care workers to administer vaccines across the country, which has a population of 1.3 billion people.

Breaking