Indian shares off record highs but post best month in 2024

A man walks past the new logo of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai

By Bharath Rajeswaran and Hritam Mukherjee

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India's benchmark equity indexes came off record highs on Friday, but ended the month with their best gain in 2024 boosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi coming back to power and as foreign inflows returned to the market.

The NSE Nifty 50 fell 0.14% to 24,010.60 and the S&P BSE Sensex settled 0.27% lower at 79,032.73, on the day. Both the indexes rose about 0.5% earlier to hit record highs.

The Nifty 50 and Sensex rose 6.6% and 6.9%, respectively, in June, their best monthly gains this year.

"Certainly bulls couldn't have asked for anything better than this after what we saw on the day when election results were announced," Apurva Sheth, head of market perspectives and research at SAMCO Securities, said.

The benchmarks fell about 6% on June 4, their worst session in more than four years, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led alliance won the national election with a slimmer-than-expected margin.

There were concerns about higher welfare spending because of Modi's reliance on alliance partners but his cabinet appointments signalled political continuity to investors.

The recovery in Indian markets in June is also attributable to fund flows, SAMCO's Sheth said.

Foreign portfolio investors bought 188 billion rupees ($2.3 billion) of shares in the month until June 27, on course to snap a two-month selling streak.

Institutional money is chasing large-caps that offer valuation comfort, analysts said.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries climbed 2.3% on Friday to a record high after its telecom unit raised prices. The stock gained more than 9% this month.

IT index, which gained about 12% in June, closed little changed on the day, ahead of a key U.S. inflation reading, which could influence the timing of a rate cut from the Federal Reserve.

Financials and private banks dropped about 1% each after their recent outperformance.

($1 = 83.3707 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran and Hritam Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Eileen Soreng and Mrigank Dhaniwala)