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Indian IT stocks drive Nifty index to record high ahead of TCS results

BENGALURU, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Indian IT services and financial stocks helped the blue-chip Nifty scale a record high on Friday, as investors turned their focus to the third-quarter earnings season with IT major Tata Consultancy Services reporting its results later in the day.

By 0454 GMT, the NSE Nifty 50 advanced 0.91% to 14,266.00 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex added 0.82% to 48,492.18, with both indexes on track to close out the first full week of the new year higher.

“Markets are focusing on earnings, more so on key sectors like IT and banking wherein they are keenly eyeing how the results pan out,” said Narendra Solanki, head of equity research (fundamental) at Anand Rathi Investment Services.

“IT is being seen as performing good, based on last quarter’s optimistic management commentary on outlook in India and globally.”

TCS rose 1.6% and was among the top boosts to the Nifty, while smaller rivals Infosys and Wipro gained 1.5% and 1.6%, respectively, ahead of their results next week.

Separately, India’s Central Statistics Office estimated on Thursday that the economy would contract 7.7% in the current financial year, broadly in line with forecasts of private economists and the central bank.

Among other sectors, the Nifty Bank Index climbed 0.67%, with HDFC Bank among the top boosts to the Nifty 50.

Biocon added 1.8% after the biopharmaceutical firm said Abu Dhabi-based holding company ADQ would invest 5.55 billion rupees in its biologics unit.

Sugar companies Balrampur Chini Mills, Avadh Sugar & Energy, Rana Sugars and Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar gained between 1.3% and 2.2%.

Indian sugar mills are aggressively signing export contracts as global prices hit multi-year highs, four industry officials told Reuters on Thursday.

Broader Asian markets scaled fresh highs after Wall Street hit record levels overnight, as investors bet on an economic recovery later in the year. (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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