July 6, 2020 / 5:19 AM / a month ago

Indian shares hit 4-month highs as HDFC Bank jumps

* Nifty up 1.2%, Sensex rises 1%

* HDFC Bank up on strong quarterly growth

* ITC biggest loser, down 4.1%

By Chris Thomas

BENGALURU, July 6 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose for a fourth straight session on Monday, powered by gains in HDFC Bank Ltd after reporting strong loan growth amid the COVID-19 crisis, while hopes of more stimulus to sustain a global economic recovery lifted sentiment.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 1.19% to 10,733.6 by 0443 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex climbed 1.04% to 36,393.97, both hitting four-month peaks.

The rally came even as India grapples with a jump in coronavirus cases, with the tally reaching 697,413 by Monday morning, including 19,693 deaths, health ministry data showed.

“While the case numbers are a deterrent for markets, data including manufacturing activity and car sales released last week indicated that we are coming back to normalcy,” said KK Mittal, investment analyst at Venus India

The Nifty will continue to trade rangebound in the near term, he added.

In broader Asia, shares climbed as investors counted on super-cheap liquidity and fiscal stimulus to sustain the global economic recovery.

India, the world’s second-most populous country, is slowly limping out of months-long lockdowns triggered by the novel coronavirus.

However, a “robust credit delivery mechanism” helped HDFC Bank, the country’s top private-sector lender, report strong growth numbers in the tough environment, according to Macquarie Research.

Shares of the heavyweight bank jumped 4% to their highest level since March 11 and helped the Nifty Bank Index rise about 2.3%.

National Fertilizers Ltd soared 18.1% to a one-year high and was set for its best day in more than five years after reporting a jump in June-quarter sales.

Consumer goods giant ITC Ltd fell 4.1% and was the biggest loser on the Nifty. (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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