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Indian shares mark second straight weekly gain as metal stocks, HDFC rally
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Indian shares closed the week on a strong note on Friday, lifted by a sizzling rally in metal stocks on upbeat global commodity prices and gains in mortgage lender HDFC following better-than-expected quarterly results.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.67% to 14,823.15, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex advanced 0.52% to 49,206.47. The indexes closed the week 1.3% and 0.9% higher, respectively, registering their second straight week of gains.

Metal shares clocked their best week since early February with a 4.7% jump on Friday as iron ore futures vaulted on strong Chinese demand and copper prices hit a record high amid tight supply outlook in a global economic recovery.

Tata Steel, which reported strong results earlier in the week, soared 7.4% to a record high and was among the top boosts to the Nifty 50, while JSW Steel climbed 3.7%.

"Indian metal companies have good inventory. The surge in metal prices, as major economies spend more money on infrastructure, is helping boost valuations," said Kshitij Purohit, lead commodities & currency at CapitalVia Global Research.

Heavyweight HDFC Ltd jumped 2.7% as lower expenses helped the mortgage lender handily beat analysts' expectations for quarterly profit.

The gains eclipsed concerns over a record daily rise in domestic coronavirus cases which took the total tally to 21.49 million. Several states have entered lockdowns to curb the spread, which has led economists to cut growth expectations for Asia's third-largest economy.

Nikhil Kamath, co-founder of stock broker Zerodha, said excessive liquidity and hopes that pandemic implications would be short-lived were supporting markets.

UltraTech Cement, scheduled to report their quarterly results later in the day, rose 1.2%.

Consumer goods company Dabur India dropped 2% after missing street expectations for profit.

Broader equity markets were firm amid strong commodity prices and as strong data from major economies added to hopes of a swift recovery from the pandemic shock.

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