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Sensex, Nifty end over 2% higher after Beijing contains virus outbreak

·1-min read
A man walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares closed higher on Thursday, rising sharply in afternoon trade after Beijing said a fresh coronavirus outbreak was under control.

The positive news helped markets overlook rising cases back home as well as border tensions with China. The NSE Nifty 50 index ended 2.13% higher at 10,091.65 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex closed up 2.09% at 34,208.05.

"At a time like this, any positive news helps appreciate sentiments," said Rahul Sharma, head of research, Equity99 Advisors in Mumbai.

European shares also briefly turned positive after the chief epidemiologist of China's Center for Diseases Prevention and Control said Beijing's outbreak has been brought under control.

Several analysts said gains were also helped by some short-covering during the session due to the weekly futures and options expiration.

Shares of public sector enterprises rallied after the government told the country's top court it was withdrawing 96% of the demands for outstanding telecoms' dues that it had raised against some state-run firms.

The Nifty PSE index, which tracks state-owned firms, surged nearly 3% after the news and closed up 2.32%.

In Mumbai trading, the Nifty banking index and the financial index jumped nearly 4% each.

Shares of oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd settled 2.51% higher, a record close.

(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)