BENGALURU, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Indian shares ended higher on
Monday, led by financial and energy stocks, while Pfizer Inc's
local arm jumped on positive data for its parent
firm's experimental pill against COVID-19.
The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index ended up 0.85% at
18,068.55, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex gained
0.80% to end at 60,545.61.
The indexes have gained more than 25% this year on falling
COVID-19 cases, easing restrictions and ample liquidity.
After a correction in October on heavy foreign selling and
concerns of overvaluation, stocks have marched higher thanks in
part to positive sentiment during the festive season of Diwali.
The Nifty Financial Services Index added 1.17%
on Monday, posting its fourth session of gains in five.
Non-banking financial company Bajaj Finserv advanced
The Nifty energy index rose 1.50%, led by gains
of between 2.9% and 7.4% in Bharat Petroleum,
Hindustan Petroleum and Indian Oil.
The refiners have announced plans to build thousands of
electric vehicle charging stations.
Shares of Pfizer's India unit gained as much as 8.3% after
its parent said on Friday that the company's experimental
COVID-19 antiviral pill cut by 89% the chance of hospitalization
or death for adults at risk of severe disease.
Divi's Laboratories, which makes the active
pharmaceutical ingredient for generic versions of Pfizer rival
Merck's COVID-19 antiviral pill, fell as much as 8.8%.
The Nifty Private Bank Index lost 0.95%, as
IndusInd Bank tumbled 10.8% after a media report on
Friday saying whistleblowers had alleged loan evergreening at
the lender's micro-finance arm.
Separately, India's stock exchanges said a new cycle
allowing quicker settlement of trades by bourses would now be
implemented from Feb. 25, 2022, instead of Jan. 1.
The move comes after foreign investors and industry bodies
pushed the country's market regulator to delay the plans.
(Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by
Ramakrishnan M. and Aditya Soni)