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Indian shares at 3-week high on gains in banks, metals

 Indian shares hit a three-week high on Friday, lifted by financial and metal companies, with a slump in oil prices and better prospects of economic growth buoying investor sentiment.

The NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) was up 0.53% at 17,893.6, as of 0446 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) rose 0.46% to 59,963.99. Both indexes are on track for gains of around 2% for the week.

“I think expectations of growth for the Indian economy are better compared to global peers, and that is visible in foreign investors returning to the market,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice president of research at SMC Global Securities.

Foreign investors bought $99 million worth of shares this week as of Thursday, Refintiv data showed.

“Oil prices cooling sharply is a major positive for the Indian economy. Profitability at banks is also poised to improve dramatically, with credit growth picking up,” Jain added.

Worries of central banks’ aggressive rate hikes and China’s COVID-19 curbs have hit oil prices hard. India, the world’s third-largest importer of oil, benefits from a fall in prices as it brings down imported inflation.

The Nifty Bank index (.NSEBANK) and the Nifty Metal index (.NIFTYMET) rose 1% and 1.5%, respectively.

IndusInd Bank (INBK.NS) and Shree Cement (SHCM.NS) were the top gainers on the Nifty 50, rising 3.7% and 4.5%.

Rice producers, however, slid after India banned exports of broken rice and imposed a 20% duty on overseas sales of various grades, as the world’s biggest exporter of the grain sought to augment supplies and calm local prices.

Rain Industries (RAID.NS) fell 5.5% in its sharpest intraday drop since June 20, after the carbon and advanced materials maker said a European unit would temporarily shut in anticipation of potential natural gas shortages and price spikes.

Meanwhile, data expected on Monday is likely to show retail inflation snapped a three-month downward trend in August as food prices surged, a Reuters poll of economists found.

Source By: Reuters