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Indian Shares Hit 7-Week High on Russia-Ukraine Talks Optimism

BENGALURU, March 30 (Reuters) - Indian shares scaled a near seven-week high on Wednesday, boosted by automakers and heavyweight financials, with appetite for riskier assets rebounding globally on signs of progress in Ukraine-Russia peace talks.

The NSE Nifty 50 index climbed 1% to 17,498.25, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 1.3% to 58,683.99, extending a rally to a third straight session.

Global equity markets largely reacted positively to Russia's promises on Tuesday to scale down its military operations near Kyiv and surrounding cities.

"Some recovery is visible in the market from the oversold zone, led by key drivers like peace talks between Russia-Ukraine," said Neeraj Chadawar, head - quantitative equity research, Axis Securities.

India's main indexes have more than recovered their losses triggered by a spike in oil prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In contrast, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is still nearly 4% below levels seen before the invasion.

"In the near term, market performance is likely to be range-bound as the clear trend is likely to emerge only after the volatility sustains at current levels for a longer time," Chadawar said.

In Mumbai, the Nifty Auto index gained 1.2%, while the Nifty bank index rose 1.4% and Nifty finance index advanced 2%.

Tata Consumer Products rose 3.1% after saying it would merge Tata Coffee with itself. Tata Coffee shares surged 9.3% to a two-month high.

Oil and Natural Gas Corp slid 5.3% to a two-week low after the oil producer said India would sell a stake of up to 1.5% in the company.

Citigroup Inc said, after Indian markets closed, that it would sell its Indian consumer banking businesses to private lender Axis Bank for $1.6 billion.

Reporting by Chris Thomas and Nallur Sethuraman, additional reporting by Gaurav Dogra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

Source: Reuters

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