BENGALURU: Indian shares scaled one-month highs in a special one-hour “muhurat” trading session to mark the festival of Diwali on Monday, lifted by sharp gains in private lender ICICI Bank following a solid earnings report.
The blue-chip Nifty 50 index closed 0.88% higher at 17,730.75, while the S&P BSE Sensex advanced with a similar gain to 59,831.66. Both the indexes recorded their seventh straight session of gains.
Many traders believe gains made during “muhurat”, which means auspicious in Hindi, bring prosperity and wealth in the year ahead.
Since last Diwali, the Nifty, however, has slipped nearly 2% up to last close, in a period marked by surging inflation amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a slew of interest rate hikes.
All sub-indexes except the Nifty FMCG index ended higher on Monday, led by a 1.28% rise in the Nifty Bank index. ICICI Bank added 2.1% after second-quarter profit surged 37%.
Reliance Industries, India’s most valuable company, ended 0.3% higher after posting flat quarterly profit, weighed down by export taxes on refined fuels and weak refining margins.
FMCG major Hindustan Unilever weighed the most on the index, slumping 3% as analysts flagged concerns about its margins even after the consumer goods bellwether’s quarterly profit exceeded market expectations.
Private lender Yes Bank fell 1.9% after reporting a drop in profit as it set aside more money to cover potential loan losses.
Bombay Dyeing and Manufacturing Co plunged 12.3% after the market regulator barred the company from the securities markets for two years after finding the firm, a sister company and several executives had misrepresented financial statements.
Meanwhile, Wall Street opened higher as Treasury yields eased on hopes of a less aggressive Federal Reserve.