Realty, pharma lead gains in Indian shares; small-, mid-caps scale new heights

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares advanced for the third consecutive session on Tuesday, led by realty firms on rising property registrations and pharma stocks, while the more domestically-focussed mid-caps and small-caps hit fresh record highs.

The Nifty 50 index settled 0.24% higher at 19,574.90, while the S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.23% to 65,780.26.

The benchmark Nifty 50 has added 1.67% in the last three sessions after first-quarter GDP grew at 7.8%, the fastest pace in a year, data showed.

Ten of the 13 major sectoral indexes logged gains, with realty adding 1.06%, and extending gains for the seventh consecutive session. Analysts attributed the recent jump in realty stocks to increasing property registrations across tier 1 cities.

The pharma index rose 1.1%, with 10 of the 15 constituents logging gains. The index has risen 1.38% over the last two sessions.

Indian pharma companies are likely to maintain growth momentum and profitability in regulated markets, driven by new launches and ongoing drug shortages, Indian Ratings and Research said on Monday.

High-weightage financials and banks fell 0.17% and 0.10%, respectively capping gains on the index. However, public sector banks climbed 0.74%, adding 4.83% in the last three sessions.

“Public sector banks may have a slight advantage as their ability to defend net interest margin (NIM) at closer to current levels is higher than that of the private banks,” analysts at Kotak Institutional Equities said.

Small-caps and mid-caps continued to outperform the blue-chips, adding between 0.8% and 1.1% and hitting new record highs.

“In the current landscape of markets at record-high levels, investors must focus on risk profile rather than short-term trends,” said Misbah Baxamusa, CEO of mutual fund distributor NJ Wealth.

Among individual stocks, budget airline SpiceJet gained 6.49% after alloting shares to nine aircraft lessors to clear outstanding dues.

Apollo Hospitals climbed 3.22% on block deals. The stock was in the top Nifty 50 gainers.

($1 = 82.8300 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema)