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UPDATE 1-India's benchmark stock indexes hit record; rupee at 20-mth high
April 26, 2017 / 6:32 AM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 1-India's benchmark stock indexes hit record; rupee at 20-mth high

* BSE index up 0.6 pct to record high

* NSE hits second consecutive record high

* Investors cheered by solid earnings reports, global gains

* Rupee hits highest vs USD since Aug 2015 (Updates with quotes, details, background)

MUMBAI, April 26 (Reuters) - India’s benchmark stock indexes rose to record highs on Wednesday, buoyed by solid company earnings reports and global market gains, while the rupee hit a 20-month against the dollar.

The BSE rose 0.6 percent to a high of 30,134.69 points, surpassing its last record in March 2015, while the broader NSE index saw similar gains, hitting an all-time high for the second straight session.

“There is optimism across the globe that is driving markets,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice-president of research at SMC Global Securities.

“In the domestic market, it is the liquidity factor which is making much of the story in the mid-cap and small-cap stocks.”

Foreign investors have bought a net $16 billion in Indian shares and debt so far this year and have been especially aggressive in bond markets, where they are headed foro a third consecutive month of net purchases in April.

At the same time, India has seen a surge in flows from retail investors, many of whom are buying into mutual funds for the first time. Domestic institutional investors bougth a net 73.6 billion rupees ($1.15 billion) in equities so far this year.

The rally has been fueled by strong quarterly results, including IDFC Bank on Tuesday, and hopes for continued foreign inflows as the domestic and global economies improve.

The rupee has received a further boost as the central bank has refrained from any meaningful intervention to curb its sharp gains, as it often has in the past. The rupee has appreciated more than 6 percent against the dollar so far this year.

The rupee strengthened to as much as 63.93 per dollar, its highest since August 2015, compared to its close of 64.2650 on Tuesday, although bonds fell with the benchmark 10-year bond yield up 2 basis points to 6.95 percent,.

India’s third-biggest software services exporter Wipro Ltd rose as much as 3.68 percent after reporting better-than-expected consolidated net profit on Tuesday, although it disappointed investors with its guidance.

IDFC Bank Ltd gained up to 6.5 percent to hit its highest in more than two months after posting a 7 percent increase in March quarter profit on Tuesday. ($1 = 63.9650 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Suvashree Dey Choudhur and Darshana Sankararaman; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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