Indian Shares Hit Record High as Banks, Airtel Gain

BENGALURU, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Indian shares rose on Wednesday to a record high as the country’s retail inflation eased, bolstering banking stocks, and Bharti Airtel gained after the telecom operator initiated process to increase foreign investment limit.

Investors also await results from technology heavy weights Infosys Ltd and Wipro Ltd later in the day.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.4% to 14,628 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.35% at 49,699.16 by 0441 GMT.

India’s retail inflation eased in December to within the central bank’s target range, although it is unlikely to cut the policy repo rate soon.

The Nifty bank index gained 0.9%, while the public sector banking index rose 2.3%.

“With some improvement in inflation, it gives room for rate cuts going forward. That gives some amount of comfort for the banking sector,” said Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets in Mumbai.

Corporate earnings so far has given confidence to investors, while the liquidity is also supportive with foreign investors continuing to be net buyers, Gandhi said.

Tata Elxsi Ltd shares rose 9.5% after reporting a surge in December-quarter profit and revenue.

Infosys shares were up 0.2%, while Wipro gained 1%. Major peer Tata Consultancy Services posted a strong December-quarter profit last week.

Indian stocks have been hitting record highs over the last few days, helped by continued foreign fund inflows and progress on COVID-19 vaccines. Foreign investors pumped more than $20 billion into Indian equities last year, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

Shares of Bharti Airtel rose 5.7% and was the biggest boost to the Nifty 50 index after the company said on Tuesday it was initiating process to revise foreign investment limit up to 100%.

Meanwhile, India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered an indefinite stay on the implementation of new agricultural laws that have triggered widespread protest from farmers.

(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

Source: Reuters

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