Indian shares see best week since Feb 2021 on banks boost, foreign buying

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A bird flies past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares closed at their highest level in seven weeks on Friday to record their best week since February 2021, led by a surge in banks, while foreign funds ploughed investments into equities.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.7% to 16,719.45, with the S&P BSE Sensex recording a similar gain at 56,072.23. Both the indexes hit their highest since June 3 and gained over 4% this week.

The Nifty Bank index rose 1.5%, while the auto index was up 0.4%.

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Banks and automobiles have been major drivers of the recent rally on the Nifty 50 index on the back of strong earnings. The bank index has climbed 9.9%, while the auto index is up around 8% in July.

“Equity markets seems to have received support from hope of peaking inflation amid decline in commodity prices and slowdown in foreign investor selling,” said Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail) at Kotak Securities.

Analysts also highlighted that buying by foreign investors has helped indexes sustain gains.

Foreign investors purchased a net $832.2 billion worth of Indian equities this week until Thursday, turning net buyers for the same period in 15 weeks, according to Refinitiv data.

Shares of Gujarat State Fertilizers & Chemicals jumped 14.7% on strong June-quarter earnings, while Quick Heal Technologies rose 7% after approving a share buyback plan.

Shares of UltraTech Cement, India’s largest cement maker, rose 5.4% after its June quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates.

Reliance Industries, India’s most valuable company, closed up 0.7% ahead of its quarterly results later in the day.

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