18:22 GMT06 March 2021
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    Indian stock markets have been bucking the trends of macro-economic indicators since the beginning of the pandemic last year. Despite the Indian economy shrinking at a record pace, Sensex and Nifty have attracted massive investments from foreign as well as domestic portfolio buyers over the past few months.

    India's benchmark Bombay Stock Exchange index Sensex breached the 50,000-mark for the first time as it has logged gains for another week — the 11th in a row. It is the longest weekly winning streak in over a decade for Sensex.

    The 30-share index rose 0.6 percent to 50,096.57 against the backdrop of strong buying in Reliance Industries and overseas investors who pumped over $2.6 billion into equities in January alone.

    ​Reliance has seen positive buying since the securities market regulator SEBI on Wednesday granted approval to a nearly $3.6 billion deal with Future Group. Amazon was earlier aiming to acquire the retail, wholesale, logistics, and warehouse businesses of the Kishore Biyani-led Future Group.

    "I usually refrain from commenting on financial markets, but am making an exception here. Whatever one thinks of valuations, this is quite a milestone given the events of the past year", Sanjeev Sanyal, economist and principal economic adviser to the Indian Finance Ministry said soon after the index touched the milestone.

    Nevertheless, India's central bank has cautioned of a widening "disconnect" between "certain sections of the financial markets and the real economy". India's gross domestic product — the total value of all final goods and services produced within the country in one financial year — is expected to contract by 7.7 percent in 2020-21.

    Following the strong buying in western markets, Asian peers are also trading at record highs on Thursday as investors expect more economic stimulus packages besides the $1.9 trillion promised by newly inaugurated US President Joe Biden in the coming weeks.

    On Thursday morning, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.3 percent to 3,629.61 points while the Shenzhen market edged up by 1.85 percent to 15,505.29 points. Australian shares climbed 0.69% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng breached 30,000 on Thursday.


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