April 30, 2020 / 4:15 AM / a month ago

Indian shares jump 2% on COVID-19 drug hopes

BENGALURU, April 30 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose more than 2% to a near seven-week high on Thursday, as global sentiment improved on promising early results from a COVID-19 treatment trial and on gains in heavyweight Reliance Industries ahead of its results.

The NSE Nifty 50 index advanced 2.05% to 9,749.5 by 0350 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was up 2.18% at 33,432.25. Both indexes were set for their fourth straight session of gains.

Early results from U.S.-listed Gilead’s trial for its drug remdesivir showed it helped speed recovery from the illness caused by the coronavirus, pushing Wall Street and Asian stock markets higher.

In Mumbai trading, conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd rose 1.9% ahead of its quarterly results, while top private-sector lender HDFC Bank Ltd provided the biggest boost, rising as much as 3.5%.

Shares of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd rose as much as 8.9% after the drugmaker said it got the Indian drug regulator’s nod to conduct clinical trials of antiviral drug favipiravir, seen as a potential treatment for COVID-19. (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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