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India: Shares hit record high for 5th straight session

[MUMBAI] Indian shares hit a record high for a fifth consecutive session on Tuesday after a deal that could open the door for US companies to build nuclear reactors in the country boosted firms expected to benefit such as Larsen & Toubro.

Overseas investors also continued their buying spree. Foreign institutions, which have bought Indian shares worth US$977.3 million so far this year, purchased 20.2 billion rupees (US$328.75 million) on Friday, provisional exchange data showed.

But broader gains were capped as drug makers fell ahead of earnings results and after Ranbaxy Laboratories lost rights to launch a generic version of AstraZeneca Plc's blockbuster heartburn drug Nexium to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries , raising fears about increased competition from abroad.

"Markets are in a cautious mood now. Individual stocks will continue to perform well. I think select infrastructure companies will participate in the rally," said Deven Choksey, managing director, KR Choksey Securities.

The benchmark BSE index was up 0.2 per cent at 29,340.50, after gaining as much as 0.6 per cent to hit a record high of 29,456.63 earlier in the day.

The broader NSE index was higher 0.23 per cent at 8,856.65, after hitting an all-time high of 8,878.20.

Capital goods stocks rose after US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a deal aimed at unlocking billions of dollars in nuclear trade and deepening defence ties.

Alstom India gained 5.4 per cent, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd rose 1.2 per cent and Larsen & Toubro added 1.8 per cent. Ranbaxy Laboratories fell 1.3 per cent.