India's Nifty breaches 17,000 on financials boost; GDP data in focus

A trader looks at a screen at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai March 13, 2008. REUTERS/Arko Datta/Files

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares ended higher on Tuesday, with sharp gains in Bajaj Finance and Bharti Airtel helping the blue-chip Nifty index scale the 17,000-mark for the first time, ahead of economic growth data due later in the day.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index closed 1.19% higher at 17,132.20, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 1.16% to 57,552.39, with both indexes posting their fourth consecutive monthly gain.

“The U.S. Federal Reserve’s dovish stance and news about China tightening regulations make India a more viable investment destination. Fundamentally we have recovered faster than expected from the second wave of COVID-19 infections,” said Amit Shah, head of India equity research at BNP Paribas in Mumbai.

Domestic markets are also being supported by the country’s central bank keeping its accommodative stance, Shah said.

India’s GDP data for the April-June quarter is due at 1200 GMT, after the market closes. The country’s economy likely rebounded from a deep slump last year on improved manufacturing despite a second pandemic wave, a Reuters survey of economists showed.

Heavyweight Bharti Airtel jumped 7% to a record close, a day after its founder-chairman said the wireless carrier wanted to improve growth and reduce debt leverage with a capital raise of 210 billion rupees ($2.88 billion).

The Nifty Finance index, Nifty Metal index, and Nifty IT index gained between 1.27% and 1.54%.

Heavyweight financial stocks Bajaj Finance Ltd and Bajaj Finserv Ltd hit record highs, adding 5% and 3.6%, respectively.

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