Nifty, Sensex end at four-month high as focus shifts to corporate earnings

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, India

Indian shares closed higher on Thursday, as metal and financial stocks gained, with investors looking forward to another earnings season, even as coronavirus cases continue to soar both at home and abroad.

The NSE Nifty 50 index .NSEI closed up 1.01% at 10,813.45, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex .BSESN rose 1.12% to 36,737.69. Both settled at four-month peaks.

A rise in Chinese iron ore futures and steel prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange boosted metal stocks in India, with the Nifty metal index .NIFTYMET ending the session nearly 2% higher.

Hindalco Industries Ltd (HALC.NS), Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JNSP.NS) and Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL.NS) rose between 6.58% and 4.1%.

Gains in broader Asian stocks also supported domestic investor sentiment with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS climbing 0.8% to touch a 20-week high.

India’s Tata Consultancy Ltd (TCS.NS) rose as much as 1.15% in morning trade, but gave up gains to close 0.29% lower. The IT services firm is set to report quarterly results later in the day.

“Liquidity is pushing the markets higher, but with earnings coming in investors will take a fresh look at their portfolio,” said Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

A surge in global liquidity as a result of central banks’ response to the coronavirus crisis has propelled buying in Asian shares and helped Indian equity markets rally sharply since a crash in March.

Meanwhile, India reported nearly 25,000 new infections as of Thursday morning, taking the total to 767,296 and deaths to 21,129, health ministry data showed.

In Mumbai trading, shares of Infrastructure engineering service provider Hindustan Construction Company Ltd (HCNS.NS) jumped more than 4% after the company posted a profit for the March quarter.

Both the Nifty PSU Bank index .NIFTYPSU and the Nifty Private Bank index .NIFPVTBNK finished Thursday’s session over 1% higher.

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