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Indian shares perched at record highs, Reliance gains

BENGALURU, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Indian shares edged up to record highs on Tuesday, led by gains in IT stocks and conglomerate Reliance Industries, with strong corporate earnings carrying a post-budget rally into a seventh straight session.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was 0.34% higher at 15,167.6 by 0449 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.26% at 51,482.23. Both the indexes have gained about 11% each so far in February.

India’s benchmark stock indexes hit multiple all-time highs in recent sessions as investors cheered last week’s high-spending and growth-focused federal budget aimed at reviving the economy. Strong foreign inflows, solid corporate earnings and buoyant global markets have also aided sentiment.

“Most companies reporting third-quarter results have beaten Street estimates by an exceptional margin, which is feeding optimism for domestic and foreign investors who have already been impressed by the budget,” said Likhita Chepa, senior research analyst at Capitalvia Global Research.

Thirty-six Nifty 50 companies that have reported December-quarter results so far have, on average, beaten analysts’ expectations by around 3.5%, according to Refinitiv data.

Bharat Petroleum Corp, a component of the blue-chip Nifty 50, gained as much as 4.3% after the oil refiner doubled its profit in the December quarter, while mineral producer NMDC climbed 4.9% after reporting stronger profit and revenue.

Redington (India), an Apple distributor in India, jumped 9.4% after reporting a rise in quarterly profit.

Software services giant Infosys and oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries were the top two boosts to the Nifty 50, gaining roughly 2% each.

Future Group companies jumped nearly 10% after an Indian court overturned an order that had stalled Future Group’s $3.4 billion deal to sell its retail assets to Reliance Industries.

Meanwhile, other Asian stock markets also climbed after a record-setting day on Wall Street, buoyed by hopes of increased stimulus in the United States. (Reporting by Chris Thomas and Sachin Ravikumar, additional reporting by Gaurav Dogra in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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