India's Benchmark Stock Index Sets a New Intraday High -- Update

By Anant Vijay Kala Features Dow Jones Newswires

India's benchmark stock index hit a record intraday high on Wednesday, as strong domestic economic growth boosted corporate earnings across all sectors.

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The S&P BSE Sensex climbed as high as 30167.09 in afternoon trading, breaking through an intraday high that had stood since 2015. The bellwether index lost some ground before closing up 0.6% at 30133.35, a new closing high. The index has been hitting record closing highs since the beginning of the month.

Rahul Shah, a vice president at Motilal Oswal Securities, said healthy corporate earnings and a strengthening in the Indian economy are driving optimism and helping attract foreign as well as domestic investors.

As long as "the [strong earnings] numbers keep coming, I don't see the markets falling," he said.

Private-sector lender Axis Bank rose 0.4%, ahead of its fiscal fourth-quarter results due later Wednesday.

Recent solid quarterly earnings announcements from HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank and Reliance Industries Ltd. have also helped improve investor sentiment.

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Indian stock markets have been among the best performing in the world so far this year, with the Sensex rising about 13% amid growing optimism Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be able to leverage recent wins in local elections into policies that will help boost the economy and corporate earnings.

That optimism has rubbed off on India's currency as well, with the rupee gaining about 6% against the U.S. dollar this year.

The currency was last changing hands at 64.11 rupees to one U.S. dollar, stronger than Tuesday's close of 64.28 rupees.

Write to Anant Vijay Kala at anant.kala@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 26, 2017 07:36 ET (11:36 GMT)