Pharma powers Indian shares to three-month closing high

By Sethuraman N R.
BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian stocks closed at a three-month high on Monday as domestic regulatory approvals for the production of COVID-19 drugs increased drug stocks and outweighed the impact of an increase in domestic and global coronavirus cases over the weekend.
The NSE Nifty 50 index, which recovered from worries over a violent border conflict with China last week, rose 0.65% to 10,311, its highest level since March 11.
Indian and Chinese military commanders held a second round of talks to ease tensions. Many Indians have asked the government to provide military and economic consideration to China after the worst clash in over five decades.
"Risk appetite has returned to the table along with the purchase of foreign institutions ... Pharmaceutical companies' jubilation over drugs has also helped," said Neeraj Dewan, director of Quantum Securities in New Delhi
"Whenever there is a surge of liquidity on the global markets, the emerging economies get their share. The greatest risk that hangs over the markets is that a further revival in demand is a challenge once the pent-up demand comes from the opening up of economies is exhausted. "he added.
The Nifty Pharma Index rose 2.2%, while the bank index rose 1.74%.
Cipla Ltd shares rose 3.2% after the Indian Medicines Agency gave the green light to manufacture and sell its generic version of Gilead Sciences Inc.'s experimental COVID-19 remdesivir.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd shares rose 27% after the drug company received Indian regulatory approval on Friday to manufacture and sell the country's oral antiviral drug favipiravir for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 infections.
According to the Ministry of Health, the total number of COVID-19 cases in India is 425,282 with 13,699 deaths.
Bajaj Auto Ltd rose 7.1% and was the top winner in the Nifty 50 index.
The S&P BSE Sensex benchmark rose 0.52% to 34,911.32.
Meanwhile, the risk of increasing coronavirus infections in parts of Europe and the United States has held global markets subdued.
(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; editing by Shailesh Kuber)
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