Indian shares set for strong weekly gains, metal stocks surge

Indian shares rose to a one-week high on Friday and were set for a solid weekly gain as banks firmed and metal stocks scaled new peaks on strong commodity prices, despite domestic coronavirus cases clocking another record daily rise.

The NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) rose 0.68% to 14,825.35 by 0434 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) advanced 0.74% to 49,311.77. Both indexes were set for weekly gains of more than 1% each.

Flushed with liquidity, the stock market looked past a record daily rise in domestic coronavirus cases of 414,188 which took the total tally to 21.49 million. Several states have entered lockdowns to curb the spread, which has led economists to cut growth expectations for Asia’s third-largest economy. read more

“Excessive liquidity and the hope that pandemic implications will be short-lived are moving the markets higher,” said Nikhil Kamath, co-founder and chief investment officer of stock broker Zerodha and asset management firm True Beacon.

Kamath added the outlook on markets may change “significantly” once there was clarity of the impact on economic growth from the current lockdowns .

Heavyweight HDFC Bank (HDBK.NS) was the top boost, climbing 1.7% and pushing the Nifty Bank index (.NSEBANK) 1.3% higher.

Shares of Tata Steel (TISC.NS) rose 4.6% to a record high, riding on strong quarterly results and metal prices. The Nifty metal index (.NIFTYMET) was the best performer, climbing 2.8% to an all-time peak.

Hero MotoCorp (HROM.NS), the world’s largest two-wheeler maker, slid over 3% after an initial uptick following better-than-expected quarterly profit. The stock had risen more than 3% this week in the run-up to the results.

Heavyweight shadow lender HDFC Ltd (HDFC.NS) and UltraTech Cement (ULTC.NS), scheduled to report their quarterly results later in the day, rose around 1% each.

Broader equity markets were firm amid strong commodity prices and after a strong close on Wall Street following an upbeat U.S. jobless claims report.

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