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Markets hit record highs; Sensex surges over 450 points, Nifty crosses 11,800

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Mumbai, Maharashtra, India Apr 16, 2019, 02.42 PM (IST)

Indian shares extended gains to record highs on Tuesday, led by index heavyweights ICICI Bank Ltd and Reliance Industries Ltd, amid sustained buying from foreign investors.

Investors were also optimistic as the earnings season got off to a good start and the state-run weather office forecast average monsoon rains this year.

The rally in Indian stocks is not across the board - mid-caps are not moving, which is an indication that foreign institutional investors are in the market and are driving it higher, said R K Gupta, managing director at Taurus Asset Management.

Foreign investors bought shares worth a net $420.2 million in the last three sessions, taking the total purchase for the month to $2.01 billion.

Average monsoon rains this year would help to reduce bad loan levels at banks, and improve GDP, according to Gupta.

The broader NSE Nifty was up 115 points at 11,805.75 as of 02:40pm and the benchmark BSE Sensex was up 455 points at 39,361.52.

Meanwhile, Asian stocks kept below a nine-month high after disappointing bank earnings stalled Wall Street, though recent signs that the global economy is likely to avoid a sharper downturn helped limit the losses.

ICICI Bank rose as much as 3.3 per cent in its sharpest intraday gain in five weeks and was the top boost to both indexes, after reports that Goldman Sachs raised its target price to Rs 492 from Rs 451.

Reliance Industries rose 1.5 per cent to its highest since April 5, while SpiceJet Ltd surged as much as 8.1 per cent to its highest since May 2018 after the low-cost carrier said it would expand its Bombardier fleet by inducting five more Q400 aircraft.

Among losers, Wipro Ltd fell as much as 0.9 per cent after the IT services firm said it was investigating a potential breach of some of its employee accounts due to an advanced phishing campaign.

The company is due to release its fourth-quarter results today.

Story highlights

Foreign investors bought shares worth a net $420.2 million in the last three sessions, taking the total purchase for the month to $2.01 billion.