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Markets

Indian shares set for second week of gains as financials rise; IDBI Bank surges

  • The Nifty Bank Index rose 0.91% and is up more than 17% since February. HDFC Bank Ltd was the top boost to the Nifty 50, rising 1.7%.
Published March 12, 2021

BENGALURU: Heavyweight financial stocks boosted Indian shares to near one-month highs on Friday and put them on track for their second week of gains, while IDBI Bank surged after the country's central bank removed certain restrictions on the lender.

By 0505 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.72% at 15,283.80, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.73% to 51,653.28. Markets were closed for a holiday on Thursday.

Asian markets, in general, were higher following Wall Street's record close overnight after the US president signed a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law, while a fall in bond yields eased inflation concerns and added to the upbeat mood.

"The good story for the Indian markets for the last few days has been that domestic institutional investors (DIIs) have also been net buyers ... which is supporting the market," said Gaurav Garg, head of research at CapitalVia Global Research in Indore.

DIIs bought a net 4.48 billion rupees ($61.64 million) worth of securities in the capital market on Wednesday, stock exchange data showed.

In domestic trading, IDBI Bank Ltd gained as much as 17.6%. India's central bank on Wednesday said it would take the state-run lender out of its corrective action list. The bank was placed on the list in 2017 for being saddled with bad loans and for posting negative return on assets.

The Nifty Bank Index rose 0.91% and is up more than 17% since February. HDFC Bank Ltd was the top boost to the Nifty 50, rising 1.7%.

"We have been maintaining a positive outlook on the banking stocks for the year ... long term we are very bullish because with economic activity picking up, it is the financial sector which is going to be the beneficiary," Garg said.

Investors are also awaiting retail inflation data for February later in the day. A Reuters poll showed that retail inflation probably rose but remained within the central bank's target range.

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