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Indian shares close at record highs; RBI rate decision awaited

Thu 4th February, 2021 10:00am
By Philip  George
    BENGALURU, Feb 4 (Reuters) - India's main stock indexes
extended a post-budget rally to four sessions and closed at
record highs, as State Bank of India beat quarterly profit
estimates and helped the bank index reverse losses.
    The NSE Nifty 50 index  .NSEI  rose 0.7% to 14,895.65, while
the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex  .BSESN  was up 0.7% at 50,614.29.
Both the indexes touched record intra-day highs earlier in the
session after rising as much as 0.84% and 0.86% respectively.
    Investors are also waiting for the central bank's monetary
policy decision on Friday when rates are expected to be held at
record lows.
    The indexes were trading lower in the morning as bank stocks
were in the red.
    "The early market opening saw some hesitation from buyers as
the market bounced from 13,680 level to 14,700 in two days," 
said Rahul Sharma, market strategist and head of research at
Equity99 markets. 
    The Nifty Bank index  .NSEBANK , which slipped as much as
1.5%, closed 1.7% higher and drew support from a 6.6% surge in
shares of State Bank of India  SBI.NS . The country's largest
lender beat quarterly profit estimates as its retail lending
growth recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
    "But since the indexes did not go down something like 1-2%,
which usually has been happening in the last two months, the
buyers rushed back, driven by a favorable budget and global
indexes" Sharma added.
    Shares of motorcycle maker Hero MotoCorp  HROM.NS  rose 1.8%
ahead of its results, while the benchmark auto index
 .NIFTYAUTO  gained 1.1%.
    Cigarette maker ITC Ltd  ITC.NS  advanced 6.1% as the top
percentage gainer on the Nifty.

 (Reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju
Samuel)
 ((P.george@thomsonreuters.com))
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