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Sensex, Nifty end higher as financials gain; SBI surges 8%

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares closed higher on Friday, led by gains in financials, with the State Bank of India surging 8% after reporting a more than four-fold jump in its profit for the March quarter.

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

The Nifty ended 1.13% higher at 10,142.15, while the Sensex closed at 34,287.24, a gain of 0.90%.

For the week, the Nifty 50 rose 5.9% and the BSE Sensex 5.75%, with both the indexes recording their second straight weekly gain.

“It is the global stimulus leading our rally and not fundamentals. Due to the global liquidity, India is benefiting as companies are able to raise cash by selling their stake,” said A.K. Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital in Mumbai.

“However, this is not a sustainable rally and we need to be in the right stock and not every stock.”

The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India, reported a net profit of 35.81 billion rupees ($474.46 million) for the March quarter, compared with 8.38 billion rupees a year earlier, driven by a one-time gain from a stake sale in its credit card unit.

The Nifty banking index and the financial index gained 3.2% and 2.2%, respectively.

Among other shares, Reliance Industries Ltd hit a record high of 1,618 rupees before closing 0.12% higher at 1,581.70 rupees. The company said Mubadala Investment Co will buy a 1.85% stake in its digital unit, Jio Platforms, for 90.93 billion rupees ($1.21 billion).

Tata Motors Ltd was the top gainer in the Nifty 50 index, ending up 12.44%. The company-owned Jaguar Land Rover said it raised $705 million loan from Chinese banks.

Hexaware Technologies Ltd soared as much as 20%, after the IT firm said it was considering a buyout proposal from promoter HT Global IT Solutions Holdings Ltd.

Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

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