Indian shares rose for a second straight day on Friday and were on track to eke out small weekly gains as investors hunted for bargains after recent falls, with Reliance Industries leading gainers after it commissioned a key hydrocarbon unit. Small and midcap stocks hit record highs, with the Nifty Smallcap 100 index climbing as much as 1.1 percent and the Nifty Midcap 100 index up as much as 0.6 percent.
Value picking by investors was seen as an indication of confidence in the outlook for equities given the prospects of an improving economy, even as bonds fell after minutes released on Thursday from a policy meeting by the Reserve Bank of India earlier this month were seen as hawkish on inflation.
Sentiment was also boosted as regional markets gained, lifted by bets on strong U.S. earnings and tax reform. “The market refuses to go down and we see buying coming in,” said Gaurang Shah, vice president of Geojit Financial Services.
The broader NSE index was up 0.21 percent at 9,155.75 by 0626 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.22 percent higher at 29,485.82.
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Tech Mahindra Ltd was up 2 percent, rising for a second straight day, while Axis Bank Ltd climbed 1.6 percent after suffering heavy losses in the previous session. Reliance Industries Ltd rose as much as 3.17 percent and was the biggest gainer on the NSE index after the company commissioned a project to produce paraxylene at Jamnagar in the western Indian state of Gujarat.
HDFC Bank Ltd was little changed ahead of the release of quarterly results later in the day, while ACC Ltd dropped 1 percent. Max Financial Services Ltd fell as much as 3.99 percent after a term sheet seen by Reuters indicated Goldman Sachs would sell an up to 3.74 percent stake in the company.
(Reporting By Darshana Sankararaman in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)