Indian shares set record closing highs as banks surge
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares closed at all-time highs on Monday, led by gains in banks as strong corporate earnings raised hopes of a faster economic recovery.

Domestic stock indexes have rallied more than 12% in February on a high-spending federal budget, better-than-expected December-quarter corporate earnings and strong foreign fund inflows.

On Monday, the NSE Nifty 50 index ended 1% higher at 15,314.70, while the S&P BSE Sensex closed 1.18% higher at 52,154.13.

The top seven contributors to the Nifty 50's advance on Monday were banking and financial firms, with HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank the top boosts, gaining 2.2% and 4.2%, respectively. Banking stocks jumped 3.32%.

December-quarter profits for Indian companies surged 49% year-on-year, the biggest increase in four quarters, Refinitiv data for 220 companies with at least $500 million in market value showed.

Among earnings-driven moves, Deepak Nitrite and Dilip Buildcon rose more than 6% each, after the companies posted higher profits.

Indiabulls Housing Finance fell 6.3% and Timken India shed 9.1% on quarterly profit declines.

Helping sentiment was buoyant global markets, which rose for the 11th day in a row to hit a fresh peak on optimism about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and new fiscal aid from Washington.

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