Sensex, Nifty hit record highs as Maruti shares surge over 7%

Indian shares closed at record highs on Thursday as top automaker Maruti Suzuki hit its highest in nearly two years, even as sharp losses in HDFC Bank following central bank curbs on some of its businesses capped further gains.

The NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.15% higher at 13,133.9, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.03% at 44,632.65, with sentiment supported by COVID-19 vaccine developments globally and a slowing pace of virus spread at home.

Both indexes have hit record highs in 10 of their last 17 sessions, gaining more than 11% in November on record inflows from foreign institutional investors.

On Thursday, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd clocked its best performance since April 9 with a gain of 7.4%. The carmaker reported slightly higher year-on-year sales for November earlier in the week.

Maruti Chairman R.C. Bhargava told Bloomberg Television on Wednesday the company expected retail sales in December to be “pretty good”. The stock has gained for four straight sessions.

Capping gains, top private-sector lender HDFC Bank Ltd closed down 2.1% after gaining as much as 1.8% earlier in the session.

The Reserve Bank of India halted the lender from sourcing new credit card customers and launching digital businesses due to outages in bank’s internet banking, mobile banking, payment utilities over the past two years, it said in a regulatory filing.

Market heavyweight and HDFC Bank’s top shareholder, HDFC Ltd, slid 1%.

Rival SBI Cards And Payment Services Ltd jumped 5.2% after the news, while its parent State Bank of India climbed 3.8%.

Investors are now awaiting the outcome of a three-day meeting of the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy committee that ends on Friday, where the central bank is widely expected to stand pat on interest rates.

Also Read | Sensex, Nifty fall as banks underperform, RIL stock slips

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