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Banks lift Sensex, Nifty to record closing highs
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares closed at record highs on Thursday on gains in financial stocks and heavyweight HDFC Bank, continuing a rally that has seen the country's main indexes scale fresh peaks in 18 of 27 sessions.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.42% higher at 13,740.70, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex ended 0.48% higher at 46,890.34. At its session high, the Sensex was about seven points shy of crossing the 47,000 level for the first time.

Both the indexes have posted six consecutive weekly gains, boosted by record inflows from foreign institutional investors, progress on COVID-19 vaccines globally and signs of a nascent economic recovery in the country.

Indian equities have attracted over $20 billion worth of foreign money so far this year, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, which is the highest in eight years.

The U.S. Treasury on Wednesday added India to a list of countries it says may be deliberately devaluing their currencies against the dollar.

In Mumbai trading, the Nifty Bank Index firmed 0.48%. Private lender HDFC Bank and mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corporation were the top boosts to the Nifty 50, rising 2.2% and 2.9%, respectively.

Shares of sugar producers Balrampur Chini Mills, Dhampur Sugar Mills and Rana Sugars closed between 0.8% and 2.7% higher, a day after India approved a subsidy of 35 billion rupees ($476.04 million) to encourage sugar exports.

Building constructor Puravankara closed 2.4% higher, after the company said World Bank Group member IFC and its Emerging Asia Fund will invest $76 million to develop up to four of its residential projects.

Global markets scaled record highs on optimism over a U.S. stimulus package and the Federal Reserve's promise to keep pouring cash into markets.

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