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Indian shares end higher to clock best week since April; RBI holds rates

BENGALURU, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Indian shares ended higher on Friday and notched their best weekly gain since April as State Bank of India advanced, while bond yields surged after the central bank kept interest rates unchanged.

The NSE Nifty 50 index ended up 0.19% at 14,924.25, having risen as much as 0.8% earlier in the session, while the S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.23% to close at 50,731.63.

For the week, the benchmark indexes closed up more than 9%, their best since the week ending April 10, 2020, largely on optimism from measures announced in the federal budget on Monday.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept rates steady and reiterated that it will continue to support the recovering economy by ensuring ample rupee liquidity in the banking system.

But traders and analysts said the lack of tweaks to bond market intervention, to keep yields low in aid of stimulating an economy still struggling to recover from months of coronavirus restrictions, had disappointed those expecting more action.

The Indian rupee gained to 72.93 against the dollar and 10-year bond yields rose to 6.19%, the highest since August.

State Bank of India’s shares surged 15% to a record high, after it beat analysts’ profit estimates on Thursday.

That lifted the Nifty PSU Bank index and the Nifty Bank sector 3.6% and 0.9%, respectively, on Friday.

Shares of Mahindra and Mahindra fell as much as 3% after the automaker reported a drop in quarterly profit. (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa, Nallur Sethuraman and Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Savio Shetty in Mumbai; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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