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Indian shares scale new peak; consumer stocks rally on rain hopes
May 10, 2017 / 7:34 AM / 4 months ago

Indian shares scale new peak; consumer stocks rally on rain hopes

* NSE index up 0.71 pct, BSE index 0.81 pct higher

* NSE bank index up 0.55 pct

* Hindustan Unilever up 4 pct

By Samantha Kareen Nair

May 10 (Reuters) - Indian shares hit a record high on Wednesday as shares of consumer goods and agriculture-dependent companies rallied after the country’s weather office forecast a higher monsoon rainfall than previously expected.

The broader NSE index rose as much as 0.81 percent to a record high of 9,392.50, surpassing its previous milestone recorded on May 5.

The benchmark BSE index gained as much as 0.91 percent to 30,207.13, its highest ever.

Analysts said the long-term outlook for stocks remained healthy as earnings so far have been encouraging.

“The focus has been on the corporate results season, which has done quite well so far,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services Ltd.

Hindustan Unilever Ltd rose as much as 4.9 percent and was among the top percentage gainers on the NSE index while Dabur India Ltd and Nestle India Ltd gained between 2 percent and 4 percent respectively.

Tractor maker Escorts Ltd rose 7 percent while rival Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd jumped 2 pct.

The chief of the country’s state-run India Meteorological Department on Tuesday said India looks likely to receive higher monsoon rainfall than previously forecast as concern over the El Nino weather condition eased.

Monsoon delivers about 70 percent of India’s annual rainfall, critical for crops such as rice, cane, corn, cotton and soybeans as nearly half of the country’s farmland lacks irrigation.

Index heavyweight Bharti Airtel jumped as much as 4.5 percent on strong subscriber addition.

Petronet LNG Ltd rose as much as 4.6 percent to its highest since April 21, after the company posted a 92 percent jump in March-quarter profit.

Among losers, Biocon fell as much as 6.1 percent, after the U.S. health regulator issued form 483 to its Bangalore facility with 8 observations.

IDBI Bank declined 4.5 percent after the Reserve Bank of India initiated “prompt corrective action” over the lender’s high bad loans and negative return on assets.

The NSE was last up 0.71 percent while the BSE was up 0.81 percent.

Reporting by Samantha Kareen Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas Mohan

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