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Indian Shares Hit Record Highs on Reliance Boost

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares hit all-time highs on Friday, boosted by Reliance Industries and a jump in Exide Industries following the sale of the battery maker’s insurance unit to HDFC Life Insurance, while the focus is also on a key U.S. jobs report later in the day.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.07% at 17,246.25 by 0512 GMT and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.05% to 57,880.10. The Nifty is set for its best week since early February.

Broader Asian markets held their gains as investors awaited U.S. jobs data to ascertain the pace and timing of the Federal Reserve’s tapering of asset purchases

“The sentiments look positive and market is set to continue or at least hold the gains of the week so far on the back of firm equities in Asia and overnight gains in the United States, although the Indian market might be cautious in the second half ahead of U.S. jobs data,” said Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

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.

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 Eicher Motors Ltd were among the top performers on the Nifty 50, gaining 1.2% and 4%, respectively.

The Nifty Auto index, which is set for its fifth session of gains in last eight, was up 1.6%

HDFC Life Insurance Co Ltd fell as much as 4.2% and was the top loser on the Nifty 50. The company said it would buy the life insurance unit of Exide Industries for 66.87 billion rupees ($915.02 million). Exide Industries surged nearly 15%.

($1 = 73.0800 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Gaurav Dogra; editing by Uttaresh.V

Source: Reuters

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