Financials help Indian shares extend gains to new highs

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India’s blue-chip Nifty 50 index advanced for a sixth session in a row on Tuesday, as gains from financials and sustained foreign inflows helped offset a bout of profit-taking.

Both the Nifty and the S&P BSE Sensex hit record highs for a fourth consecutive session before briefly paring gains as investors booked profits. The Nifty 50 has risen 3.88% in six sessions, while the Sensex has gained 3.98% in five.

The benchmarks recovered, with the Nifty 50 climbing 0.34% to a record closing high of 19,389, while the Sensex gained 0.42% to settle at its all-time closing high of 65,479.05.

“India remains the preferred destination for investments as reflected by strong foreign inflows in the past few months,” according to Jahnavi Prabhakar, economist at Bank of Baroda.

The concerns over slow post-Covid economic recovery in China have also led to foreign inflows into India and Japan, she added.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have bought Indian equities worth 1,144.67 billion Indian rupees ($13.96 billion) on a net basis in fiscal 2024 so far. In contrast, FPIs sold equities worth 1,400.10 billion rupees and 376.32 billion rupees in fiscal 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Eight of the 13 major sectoral indexes logged gains, with high-weightage financials adding 0.79%. Banks gained 0.32% to close at a record high and public sector banks rose nearly 2%.

Non-banking finance company Bajaj Finance led the rise in financials, jumping over 7% after reporting a 34% growth in new loans for the June quarter.

Analysts also listed growth in GST collections, expansion in June manufacturing activity and easing monsoon deficiency as key factors behind the momentum.

Among individual stocks, Hero MotoCorp rose 4.52% on the launch of a co-developed Harley Davidson bike.

However, Eicher Motors, which makes the Royal Enfield bike, fell 6.31% due to fears that the new Harley X440 would eat into its market share.

Bharti Airtel lost 1.59% after Reliance Jio, owned by Reliance Industries, announced the launch of a 4G-feature phone priced at 999 rupees.

($1 = 82.0073 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil, Savio D’Souza and Janane Venkatraman)