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By Derek Francis
BENGALURU - Indian shares edged up on Tuesday, tracking broader Asian peers, after upbeat factory data from China gave investors hope of a rebound in activity, despite a spike in coronavirus cases back home.
The broader NSE Nifty 50 index was up 1.81% at 8,431.1 by 0435 GMT on the last trading day of the current financial year, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 1.66% to 28,912.33.
However, India's main indexes were set for their worst yearly performance since 2009, battered by sluggish economic growth and the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
On Tuesday, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.1% after China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) bounced to 52.0 in March, up from a record low of 35.7 in February.
"There are also expectations of more stimulus measures from different governments and central banks. India has also announced quite a number of relief packages to help tide over the disruption caused by the virus," said Rusmik Oza, senior vice president at Kotak Securities.
The Reserve Bank of India on Monday announced an increase in borrowing limits for foreign investors in corporate bonds and a second targeted long-term repo operation to inject liquidity into the banking system.
The country, which has said it had no plans to extend the 21-day lockdown that began last week, reported https://www.mohfw.gov.in 1,251 confirmed coronavirus cases by Monday evening, up 227 from the previous day, its steepest single-day rise.
In the equities market, nearly all sub-indexes were trading up on Tuesday. The Nifty metals index was up 3.88%, while the Nifty financials index rose 2.49%.
Miners and steel makers were the top gainers on the blue-chip index, with Hindalco Ltd adding over 7%, Vedanta Ltd rising 5.77% and JSW Steel gaining 4.81%.
Indusind Bank Ltd was the day's top loser, shedding as much as 20%, after the company said it saw its retail deposits slowing on an analyst call on Monday.
(Reporting by Derek Francis and Gourav Dogra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)