Indian shares hit record high on boost from China, US data

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India’s benchmark indexes rose to record highs on Monday, led by metal companies after upbeat data from China, while a moderation in a key U.S. inflation reading also aided sentiment.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose as much as 0.91% to a new record high of 22,529.95, while the BSE Sensex rose 0.81% to an all-time high of 74,254.62.

All 13 major sectors advanced.

The latest U.S. inflation data was “along the lines of what we would like to see,” Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said, keeping alive hopes that the central bank will start cutting interest rates in June.

That, coupled with data showing the U.S. economy grew faster than previously estimated in the fourth quarter, helped boost sentiment, analysts said.

Metal stocks jumped 2.2% after data showed China’s manufacturing activity expanded for the first time in six months in March.

JSW Steel and Tata Steel rose 3.5% and 2.3% and were the top gainers on the Nifty 50.

“The undertone of the market is bullish,” said VK Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

After consolidating in March, the Nifty has gained over 300 points in two sessions, indicating upward momentum, Vijayakumar said.

Infosys gained as much as 2.1% after the software company said that it expected a tax refund of 63.29 billion rupees, after receiving orders from the income tax department.

The U.S.-rate sensitive IT stocks, in general, gained 0.6%.

The broader, more domestically focussed small- and mid-caps rose 1.8% and 1.2%, respectively.

Steady domestic and foreign inflows, strong domestic macroeconomic data and hopes of policy continuity after national elections could further trigger a pre-election rally, said Deven Choksey, managing director of DRChoksey FinServ.

However, Choksey said, the markets are already priced to perfection, and elevated valuations could keep a lid on the gains. ($1 = 83.3830 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala and Savio D’Souza)


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