Metals fuel India's blue-chips to record highs to start fiscal year 2025

A man walks out of the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai, India,

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India's benchmark indexes clocked record highs in the first session of fiscal year 2025, led by a surge in metal companies after upbeat data from top consumer China.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.61% at 22,462, while the BSE Sensex added 0.49% to 74,014.55, at the close.

Both the Nifty 50 and Sensex rose as much as 0.91% and 0.82% to record highs during the session and the first time since March 11 and March 7, respectively.

"The bounceback in Nifty and Sensex after three weeks of consolidation and rebound in broader markets after a drop in March signals positive momentum for domestic markets," said Kranthi Bathini, an equity strategist at WealthMills Securities.

The quarterly results season, starting next week, could add to the momentum and sustain a rally to new record highs, Bathini said, adding that he expects financials to post strong earnings, aided by healthy credit growth in a "seasonally strong quarter".

The broader, more domestically-focussed small- and mid-caps added 3.26% and 1.74%, respectively.

Eleven of the 13 major sectors advanced. High-weightage financials rose 1%.

Metal stocks jumped 3.7% after data showed China's manufacturing activity expanded for the first time in six months in March.

JSW Steel and Tata Steel rose 5.03% and 4.68% and were the top gainers on the Nifty 50, while Hindustan Copper surged 11.44%.

Among individual stocks, Adani Ports rose 2.54% and hit an all-time high on strong cargo volume data.

Real estate firm Prestige Estates climbed 7.09% after announcing a $240 million deal with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Kotak AIF.

Prestige Estates was among the top gainers in the realty index, which advanced 4.36%.

Automakers Mahindra & Mahindra and Eicher Motors shed 0.23% and 1.66%, respectively, on weaker-than-expected monthly sales data.

($1 = 83.3830 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala, Savio D'Souza and Sonia Cheema)