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India’s benchmark Nifty 50 index hit an all-time high for the fifth time this year on Friday, lifted by gains in Reliance and information technology (IT) stocks, and as the government’s fiscal prudence in its budget also boosted sentiment.

The NSE Nifty 50 index surged to a high of 22,126.80 points in the session before pulling back, due to selling pressure near the close, to settle 0.72% higher at 21,853.80. The S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.61% to 72,085.63.

Both benchmarks gained about 2% each this week, their best this year, led by large-cap stocks like Reliance Industries, which logged its best week since June 2022.

Reliance and Infosys – two of the five heaviest-weighted Nifty stocks – jumped about 2% each on the day.

Nine of the 13 major sectors logged gains, led by a 3.16% increase in energy.

“Large-caps like Reliance and HDFC Bank have come to the fore in this leg of the rally,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice president of research for retail equities at SMC Global.

Indian shares open higher tracking Asian peers

“The allocations could shift further towards the segment from small- and mid-caps as investors seek safety in an expensive market.”

The broader and more domestically focussed small- and mid-cap sub-indexes rose 0.93% and 0.37%, respectively.

The gains in mid-caps were capped by Paytm nosediving 20% for the second day in a row, since the central bank ordered its banking arm to stop taking fresh deposits.

The government’s fiscal prudence in its budget presentation on Thursday also aided market sentiment, analysts said.

The government’s adherence to its fiscal consolidation roadmap and thrust on capex are positive for bonds and the impact on equities has been as expected, said Abhishek Goenka, founder and CEO of IFA Global.

The IT index gained 2.16% ahead of key U.S. labour market data later in the day that could influence the timing of interest rate cuts.

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