Indian shares end higher for sixth straight day; Axis Bank touches record high

People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai
People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, November 4, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Indian shares ended higher for a sixth straight session on Friday, as strong corporate earnings, including lender Axis Bank, countered weakness in global equities over rate hike fears.

The benchmark indexes also posted their biggest weekly gains since late July.

The NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) settled 0.07% higher at 17,576.30, while the S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) finished 0.18% up at 59,307.15, after climbing over 0.6% each to hit a one-month high.

"We are largely in line with the global markets, so ours is not a sustained outperformance so far," said Ajit Mishra, vice president - research at Religare Broking.

"Another important aspect is that even foreign investors buying (in domestic equities) is not consistent, it could be for a day and we still need to see a decisiveness in this trend."

Foreign institutional investors bought a net 18.65 billion Indian rupees ($225.2 million) worth of equities on Thursday, while domestic investors sold net 8.87 billion rupees, as per provisional data available with the National Stock Exchange.

Globally, equities fell while U.S. Treasury yields held near multi-year highs on Friday, as investors worried that hefty rate hikes will push major economies into recession.

Domestically, earnings from IT majors and banks have led the recent rally in stocks.

In Mumbai trading, Nifty's bank indexes (.NIFTYPSU), (.NIFPVTBNK) and (.NSEBANK) were the top gainers among other sectors, rising between 1.7% and 1.8%, respectively.

Axis Bank (AXBK.NS) closed at record highs and was the top gainer on the Nifty 50 index. The private lender had reported a better-than-expected 70% jump in second-quarter profit on Thursday.

Oil-to-retail conglomerate Reliance Industries (RELI.NS), after swaying between positive and negative territory in the session, settled 1.2% lower ahead of its quarterly earnings results.

($1 = 82.8220 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza, Janane Venkatraman and Neha Arora

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