Sensex posts longest run of weekly gains since 2009 amid vaccine optimism

The rupee strengthened 0.1% to 73.2450 per U.S. dollar
India’s stocks rose, with the benchmark index completing its longest stretch of weekly increases since 2009 as coronavirus-vaccine optimism and expectations of more U.S. stimulus buoyed sentiment.

The S&P BSE Sensex advanced 1.9% since Monday, completing a 10th consecutive week of gains. It climbed 1.4% to 48,782.51 in Mumbai on Friday, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index climbed 1.5%. Both gauges closed at record highs.

Indian stocks have followed share increases across Asia as vaccination programs aimed at stemming the pandemic begin and the formal endorsement of a new U.S. president and the Democrats winning control of the Senate fueled prospects of more economic stimulus. Locally, the quarterly earnings season begins Friday with Asia’s largest software exporter Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. due to report results.

“Liquidity is driving the market and new retail investors continue to join forces,” said Chokkalingam G, chief investment officer at Equinomics Research & Advisory Ltd. in Mumbai. “Investors have factored in good earnings and positives from the vaccine.”

The rupee strengthened 0.1% to 73.2450 per U.S. dollar, while the yield on 10-year government bonds climbed two basis points to 5.88%.

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