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Nifty closes at 28-month high; ITC hits record

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Fri, May 10, 2013 12:35 hrs
Commuters walk past the BSE building in Mumbai

The Nifty rose on Friday to its highest close since January 2011, as ITC rose to a record on expectations foreign investors will continue to scoop up domestic blue chips, while Maruti Suzuki surged after the yen slid against the dollar.



The Nifty has gained 2.5 percent this week, marking its fourth consecutive weekly gain as part of a global market rally that has sent U.S. indexes to record highs as easier global monetary policy sparks flows into riskier assets.

Foreign investors have been net buyers for 15 consecutive sessions, bringing their total for the year to $12.73 billion, regulatory data shows.

Investors are also betting the Reserve Bank of India will continue to cut interest rates after having lowered them by 75 basis points so far this year. The key to those expectations will be the consumer price inflation data due on Monday and the wholesale price inflation data on Tuesday.

India's headline wholesale inflation is expected to have risen 5.5 percent in April from a year ago, a Reuters poll shows, marking the slowest pace since November 2009.

"With so much monetary easing globally, the gush of global liquidity is driving markets higher, which should continue in the near term," said Vivek Mahajan, head of research at Aditya Birla Money.

Inflation is important, but might take a backseat if liquidity continues to remain strong, added Mahajan.

The broader Nifty rose 0.74 percent, or 44.60 points, to end at 6,094.75.

The benchmark BSE Sensex rose 0.72 percent, or 143.58 points, to end at 20,082.62. It gained 2.6 percent for the week, in the fourth straight week of gains.

A special live trading session will be conducted by NSE and BSE on Saturday from 11:15 a.m. to 12.45 p.m

Shares in Maruti Suzuki gained 4.1 percent, tracking a weaker yen and on optimism around its parent Suzuki Motor Corp's (7269.T) record profit in the financial year ended March.

ITC Ltd gained 2.5 percent, after earlier hitting an all-time high of 354.15 rupees, as investors placed long positions in equity futures of the company, indicating they expect gains to continue.

Shriram Transport Finance Co Ltd rose 3.6 percent after U.S. private equity firm TPG Capital raised about $300 million by selling its roughly 10 percent stake in the commercial vehicle financier to India's Piramal Group.

Hopes that upcoming consumer price inflation data would support the case for more rate cuts also helped rate-sensitive stocks such as ICICI Bank Ltd.

ICICI Bank gained 1.1 percent while HDFC Bank Ltd rose 1.9 percent.

However among stocks that fell, Apollo Tyres Ltd shares fell 0.5 percent ahead of its March-quarter earnings later in the day.

Apollo Tyres later reported its Jan-March net profit fell by 9.55 percent to 1.42 billion rupees.

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