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Indian shares end at record highs as Reliance jumps; U.S. jobs data eyed

09/03/2021 | 06:38am EST
People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares scaled new peaks on Friday, with the blue-chip Nifty registering its best week since early February as conglomerate Reliance Industries surged to record highs, and investor focus on U.S. jobs report due later in the day.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.52% at 17,323.60 at close and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.48% to 58,129.95. The Nifty closed the week 3.70% higher, while the Sensex rose 3.57%.

In the broader market, shares held near record highs as investors awaited U.S. jobs data to ascertain the pace and timing of the Federal Reserve's tapering of asset purchases.

India's stock market, having outperformed Asian peers so far this year, has enjoyed its record highs on abundant liquidity and positive global cues, along with the Fed's dovish stance.

Graphic: Asia-Pacific equities' performance in 2021

The Nifty has hit record high 47 times and the Sensex 38 times this year, as per Refinitiv Eikon data.

In Mumbai trading, Reliance Industries Ltd and Oil and Natural Gas Corp were among the top performers on the Nifty 50, gaining 4.1% and 3.8%, respectively.

The Nifty Energy index, which had its ninth straight session of gains, was up 2.29%.

Among other notable stock moves, HDFC Life Insurance Co Ltd closed 3.2% lower and was the top loser on the Nifty 50.

HDFC Life said it would buy the life insurance unit of Exide Industries for 66.87 billion rupees ($915.02 million), in what is one of India's largest insurance deals. Exide Industries closed 6.4% higher, after surging as much as 15%.

Shares of defense training simulator maker Zen Technologies Ltd rose nearly 10% and were locked in their upper circuit. The company said it secured new orders worth 1.55 billion rupees from the Indian Air Force.

($1 = 73.0800 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

ę Reuters 2021
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