Indian shares closed at record high as Covid-19 curbs ease


Reuters

Indian shares ended at a record high on Friday, gaining for a fourth consecutive week as more states eased pandemic restrictions, with investors seeming confident that high U.S. inflation was transitory following the latest reading.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) rose 0.39% to 15,799.35 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) closed 0.33% higher at 52,474.76.

"The stock market is solely focused on the future. Hopes of a quick economic revival post unlock and expectation of large number of adult population vaccinated in 2021, are keeping markets excited," Amar Ambani, head of research, institutional equities at Yes Securities, said in a note.

The southern Indian state of Karnataka, home to the tech hub Bengaluru, announced on Thursday it would ease some COVID-19 restrictions in a phased manner.

The country's richest state Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat and the Indian capital New Delhi have already announced relaxations. read more

Investor sentiment was also boosted by a rally in global stock markets after U.S. consumer price index data on Thursday supported the Federal Reserve's easy monetary policy stance that the current wave of heightened inflation will be temporary.

Meanwhile, daily cases of the novel coronavirus in India stayed below the 100,000-mark for a fourth straight day, with the health ministry's data on Friday showing 91,702 new infections. read more

In Mumbai trading, Reliance Industries Ltd (RELI.NS), Infosys Ltd (INFY.NS) and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS.NS) were among the top boosts to the Nifty 50, gaining between 1.4% and 1.8%. Shares of Reliance have risen in five of the last eight trading sessions.

The Nifty IT index (.NIFTYIT), which has gained 4.52% for the week, ended up 1.51%.

Among other notable gainers, Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL.NS) closed 5.1% higher. The country's largest state-owned steel company on Thursday reported a 26.4% jump in March-quarter profit.