Indian shares closed at a record high on Monday, with the Nifty rising for a fifth straight session as consumer goods giants Hindustan Unilever and ITC advanced, although losses in private sector lender HDFC Bank capped gains.
The NSE Nifty 50 index ended up 0.73% at 13,355.75, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex advanced 0.77% to 45,426.97. Both indexes have registered five consecutive weeks of gains amid news of progress in coronavirus vaccines.
In the latest development on the domestic front, Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest producer of vaccines by volume and India’s main hope for large-scale supplies, said it had made the first formal application for emergency use approval for AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Daily virus cases in the world’s second most populous country have stayed below 50,000 for a month, despite a busy festival season.
Among consumer goods stocks, Hindustan Unilever jumped 3.3%, while ITC rose 2.5%. Mortgage lender HDFC Ltd was up 2.6%.
ICICI Bank Ltd and smaller rival Bandhan Bank ltd climbed 1.7% and 4.5%, respectively, after Goldman Sachs added them to its “conviction list” of top stock picks and raised their target prices.
Goldman also upgraded the rating and target price on IndusInd Bank Ltd, sending its shares up 2.4%.
ONGC shares climbed 1.9% after the company said on Friday its overseas arm had made a “significant strike of oil” in its block in Colombia.
Capping the gains, HDFC Bank Ltd dropped 1% to its lowest close since mid-November. Credit ratings agency Moody’s said the bank’s multiple digital outages, which prompted the Reserve Bank of India on Thursday to curb its digital and credit card operations, were credit negative.
Smaller rival Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd slid 1.4% after Goldman downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “buy”.