Indian shares rose for an eighth straight session on Wednesday and hit record highs, as auto and drugmaker stocks jumped, with a handful of strong corporate earnings supporting gains. The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.7 per cent to 12,718.65 by 0514 GMT and the S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.672 per cent to 43,545.6. The Nifty Auto index climbed as much as 2.1 per cent, led by a rise of 3.5 per cent in shares of motorcycle maker Hero MotoCorp. Carmaker Mahindra and Mahindra jumped nearly 3 per cent after it reported a higher quarterly revenue on Tuesday and said it expected strong demand for vehicles until the end of the year.
"The outlook for the (auto) sector is improving continuously and is supported by the festival season and good rural demand," said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services. "This trend is likely to continue for some time."
An industry body report on Wednesday showed India's passenger vehicle sales grew more than 14 per cent in October from a year ago. Drugmakers Cipla Ltd and Divi's Labs rose about 3 per cent each and helped the Nifty Pharma index add more than 2 per cent. Natural gas explorer GAIL (India) rose as much as 4.5 per cent after it reported a higher September-quarter profit on Tuesday.
Miner Hindalco rose 2.9 per cent after it posted higher copper sales during the quarter to September, despite reporting a fall in quarterly profit on a one-time charge. The Nifty banking and financials indexes rose more than 1 per cent each. Private-sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank was up 2.6 per cent after MSCI announced the inclusion of the stock in its India index from Nov. 30. IndusInd Bank was the session's top loser, falling 3.1 per cent. Meanwhile, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4 per cent as news of a potential COVID-19 vaccine offset worries of rising infections in Europe and the United States.