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Indian shares close at record highs on gains in financial, infra stocks

BENGALURU, Feb 2 (Reuters) – India’s main stock indexes ended at record closing highs on Tuesday, boosted by gains in financials and infrastructure stocks, after the government unveiled plans to hike spending to revive growth in the country’s pandemic-hit economy.

The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex closed 2.46% higher at 49,797.72, while the NSE Nifty 50 index climbed 2.57% to 14,647.85.

The benchmark index breached the 50,000-mark earlier in the session, surging as much as 3.2% to 50,154.48.

In its federal budget on Monday, India boosted healthcare spending by 135%, lifted caps on foreign investment in its vast insurance market, and increased capital expenditure for 2021/2022 by 35%.

Home loan provider Housing Development Finance Corp pared some gains, but ended 3.1% higher after reporting a quarterly profit that beat analyst estimates.

India’s largest private lender HDFC Bank was the top boost, rising 5.7% and helping the Nifty Bank index end the day 3.56% higher.

Infrastructure companies gained on proposals for higher capital expenditure in 2021/22 along with plans for a slew of infrastructure projects.

The Nifty Infrastructure sub index ended the day 3.5% higher.

The benchmark auto index rose 4% after the finance minister announced a new voluntary scrappage policy, while a string of auto companies like Maruti Suzuki India and Tata Motors reported higher sales for January.

Jaguar Land Rover parent Tata Motors ended the day 15.2% up as the top percentage gainer. (Reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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