Indian shares extend record rally; Sensex logs longest winning run in 16 years

By Bharath Rajeswaran and Archishma Iyer

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares settled at record highs on Friday, helped by the Bajaj Auto-led surge in auto stocks, while the benchmark Sensex logged its longest daily winning streak in 16 years.

On the day, the Nifty 50 was up 0.44% to 20,192.35, while the S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.47% to 67,838.63.

Both the benchmarks gained nearly 2% each for the week and closed at record highs.

The Sensex rose for the eleventh straight session, adding 4.64% over the period, logging its longest series of daily gains since October 3, 2007.

Auto stocks climbed 1.58% to a record high, powered by a 5.9% jump in Bajaj Auto after BofA Global Research upgraded the stock to “buy” from “neutral”.

Ashok Leyland gained 1.72% after signing an agreement with the Uttar Pradesh state government to set up a plant to manufacture electric buses.

The high-weightage IT index rose 0.94%, helped by rising expectations of a rate hike pause from the U.S. Federal Reserve next week.

IT firms earn a significant share of their revenue from the U.S. HCL Tech was among the top Nifty 50 gainers, rising 1.64%.

The more domestically-focussed small-caps and mid-caps settled up 0.41% and 0.28%, respectively.

They, however, snapped a three-week winning streak, dragged by the sharpest single-day fall in 2023 on Tuesday.

“There is clearly room for correction in India’s mid-caps, due to rise in oil prices and renewed inflationary concerns,” said Christopher Wood, global head of equity strategy at Jefferies, adding that the expected pull-back in Indian equities is a “buying opportunity”.

Among individual stocks, Strides Pharma surged 5.51% and hit a 20-month high after the drugmaker’s Singapore unit received tentative U.S. FDA approval for an anti-retroviral therapy drug for HIV patients.

HDFC Bank gained 1.15% ahead of the FTSE’s semi-annual index review. The changes will be effective on Sept. 18.

($1 = 83.0300 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran and Archishma Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema and Varun H K)