Sensex Extends Record Level as Banks, Materials Stocks Gain

(Bloomberg) -- Indian shares advanced, boosted by a rally in lenders and materials companies, as key stock indexes extended record levels amid better-than-expected corporate results for the last three months of 2017.

The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex added 0.7 percent to 34,843.51, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index rose 0.6 percent. Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp. led gains with a 6.2 percent advance followed by ICICI Bank Ltd. Seven of the 19 sector indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. advanced, paced by a 1.7 percent advance in the S&P BSE Finance Index. 

Sensex Extends Record Level as Banks, Materials Stocks Gain

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., Asia’s top software exporter, private lender IndusInd Bank Ltd. and Infosys Ltd. last week posted quarterly profits that either beat or matched analyst estimates. Bharti Airtel Ltd., the nation’s biggest mobile services provider, private lender HDFC Bank Ltd., and Hindustan Unilever Ltd., India’s largest consumer-goods producer, are among companies scheduled to report results this week.

“Earnings so far are turning better than expected,” said Soumen Chatterjee, head of research at Guiness Securities. “There are expectations that the government may announce measures to boost economic growth in the federal budget.”

Many investors are forecasting Indian equities to extend the rally that made them among Asia’s best performers last year. They are betting on higher government spending in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s February budget to revive an economy that’s forecast to grow at the slowest pace in four years.

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