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Indian shares close at record high as Biden wins U.S. election

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian markets closed at a record high on Monday as Democrat Joe Biden’s win in the U.S. election led to a weaker dollar, fuelling hopes for more fund inflows into emerging markets, with domestic IT stocks gaining after a report said the President-elect planned to ease policy on work visas.

A broker monitors share prices while trading at a brokerage firm in Mumbai May 13, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

The Nifty closed up 1.61% and the Sensex index ended 1.68% higher. Both the indexes rose to all-time highs during the session, scaling 42,645.33 and 12,474.05, respectively.

The dollar hit a 10-week low on Monday as investors heralded Joe Biden’s election as U.S. president, raising expectations that a calmer White House could boost global trade and foster easy monetary policy.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 49 countries, rose 0.5%.

“Among other factors, the weak dollar is allowing money to flow into emerging markets,” said Neeraj Dewan, director at Quantum Securities in New Delhi.

“A lot of FII (foreign institutional investor) money has been pumped into the Indian market in the last few days too.”

In Mumbai, the Nifty IT index rose as much as 2% a day after news portal Moneycontrol published a report sourced from PTI saying Biden planned to increase limits on H-1B work visas. Such visas help firms employ Indian workers in the United States.

IT sector heavyweight Infosys gained nearly 3%.

Banking stocks were also among the session’s top gainers. The sector’s main sub-index rose about 2.7% and closed higher for a sixth consecutive session.

Private-sector lender ICICI Bank and Axis Bank closed up 4.9% each.

Drugmaker Divi’s Labs advanced 5.4% after the company on Saturday reported a higher profit for the September-quarter.

Among the major decliners were drugmaker Cipla, which fell 2.9% after it reported its quarterly results on Friday.

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi