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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.

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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.