BENGALURU, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Indian shares closed higher on Tuesday, boosted by automobile stocks and an emergency-use nod for Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 shot in kids, with investors awaiting the country’s retail inflation data due later in the day.

The NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.26% higher at 17,991.95, while the S&P BSE Sensex closed up 0.25% at 60,284.31 after falling earlier in the day. Both the indexes had scaled record highs the previous session.

An expert panel of India’s drug regulator recommended on Tuesday Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for emergency use in children aged two to 18 years, making it the first COVID-19 vaccine in the country to get a nod for use in kids below 12 years.

Pertaining to India-specific triggers, news on Covaxin has certainly helped sentiment, said Anita Gandhi, a whole-time director at Arihant Capital Markets in Mumbai.

Looking ahead, the focus is on retail inflation data due after market close on Tuesday, with a Reuters poll of economists showing the number probably fell again in September to a five-month low.

Abundant liquidity, increasing coverage of COVID-19 vaccinations and easing in restrictions have propelled Indian markets to outperform their Asian peers this year.

Nifty auto stocks ended 0.88% higher after rising 1.32% to their highest level since May 2018 during the session.

Tata Motors, the parent company of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), climbed 1.23% to mark a fourth straight session of gains. The company on Monday said group global wholesales in the second quarter were up 24% from a year earlier.

Countering some of the gains was the Nifty IT index which fell 0.88%, with sector heavyweight Infosys closing 0.34% lower a day before quarterly results. HCL Technologies, due to report results on Thursday, was down 4%. (Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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