Indian shares close at record highs; inflation data in focus

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

BENGALURU, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Gains in information technology stocks propelled Indian shares to record closing highs on Thursday, ahead of data expected to show a slowdown in monthly inflation.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) closed 0.50% higher at 16,364 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) ended up 0.6% at 54,843.98. Leading the gains among sectoral indexes, the Nifty IT services index (.NIFTYIT) rose 1.82%.

"High liquidity has helped markets touch fresh highs. The comeback of small and mid-cap stocks after the clarification (from BSE) also helped," said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.

The Nifty mid-cap index (.NIFMDCP100) and small-cap index (.NIFSMCP100) gained 1% and 2.1%, respectively, after falling more than 2% each earlier this week.

The weakness had come after a circular on Monday from BSE Ltd over price curbs to curb volatility. But the exchange clarified on Wednesday the rules would only be applicable on stocks that are priced above 10 rupees and have a market capitalization of less than 10 billion Indian rupees ($134.71 million).

Focus will be on consumer price inflation data for July due at 1200 GMT. Inflation likely slowed to a three-month low on falling food prices and an easing of supply chain disruptions, a Reuters poll found. read more

Among individual stocks, Indian budget carrier SpiceJet Ltd (SPJT.NS) rose 5.1% after a report that the country was set to allow Boeing's 737 Max jets to resume flights in the country within days.

Helped by strong quarterly earnings, Drugmaker Indoco Remedies (INRM.NS) rose over 17%, luggage maker VIP Industries Ltd (VIPI.NS) surged 20% and Punjab Chemicals and Crop Protection Ltd (PCHM.NS) advanced 18%.

($1 = 74.2340 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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