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Money News

Nifty, Sensex close higher on Reliance boost

FILE PHOTO: People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File photo

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares closed higher on Thursday, boosted by Reliance Industries Ltd that hit a record high after reports of more potential investments in its retail arm, helping the domestic market outperform its broader Asian peers.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index closed 1.52% higher at 11,449.25, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex closed up 1.69% at 38,840.32.

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance closed 7.1% higher and became the first listed Indian firm to cross $200 billion in market capitalisation after reports of potential investments from Middle East funds and Amazon.com Inc in its retail arm.

This helped the Indian market post bigger gains than Asian peers who were up following an overnight rally in technology-related stocks on Wall Street, while Europe struggled for traction.

“(Reliance) stock has been on a tear... we expect the company to attract further investments in the retail business from other investors,” said Jyoti Roy, deputy vice president and equity strategist at Angel Broking Ltd.

Reliance, whose primary business is oil, also helped the Nifty Energy Index close 3.98% higher.

The Nifty Bank Index closed 0.89% higher. India’s top court on Thursday deferred hearing a case on waiving interest rates on loans under a moratorium to the last week of this month.

Telecom infrastructure company Bharti Infratel Ltd and aluminium and copper producer Hindalco Industries Ltd were the top laggards on the Nifty, closing down 5% and 3.4%, respectively.

Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

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