Indian shares hit record highs on banks, FMCG boost; sugar stocks drop

BENGALURU, Aug 18 (Reuters) – Indian shares opened at record highs on Wednesday, boosted by heavyweight HDFC Bank after the country’s central bank relaxed restrictions on the private-sector lender for sourcing new credit cards.

By 0349 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was 0.39% higher at 16,678.95, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.43% at 56,032.03.

HDFC Bank jumped 3.07% after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed the lender to issue new credit cards, months after it curbed some operations of the bank due to outages in its digital payment services. The RBI’s ban on the bank introducing new digital initiatives will continue.

The Nifty Bank index was up 0.99%.

Sugar stocks fell in early trade after a Reuters report that the country is expected to withdraw its sugar export subsidies from the new season beginning October.

Shares of Balrampur Chini, Dwarikesh Sugars and Shree Renuka Sugars were down between 1.3% and 3%.

Among broader markets, Asian shares held near year-to-date lows as overnight declines on Wall Street reinforced worries about the economic impact of the Delta coronavirus variant.

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Source: Reuters