Bengaluru: Indian shares on Thursday climbed to their highest levels since February as strong earnings from the country's biggest lender State Bank of India (SBI) boosted banks, with metal and IT stocks helping build on the gains.
The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 1.5% by 0500 GMT after opening above the 12,000-mark for the first time since February 20. The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 1.52% to 41,235.42.
SBI on Wednesday reported an upbeat September-quarter profit and said it expected stronger annual credit growth, sending its shares 4.35% higher and lifting the Nifty banking index by 1.6%.
The banking index rose for a fourth straight session since private-sector lender ICICI Bank reported a higher profit last week.
"The large banks have benefited from lower deposit rates and a higher liquidity during the COVID-19 crisis," said Samrat Dasgupta, CEO at Esquire Capital Investment Advisors.
"The banking sector has had a very good run, but we need to see if credit growth picks up."
Refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp, which also reported a quarterly profit that beat estimates on Wednesday, rose 7.8%.
The Nifty metals index rose 2.4%. Tata Steel gained 4.4% and miner Hindalco climbed 3.3%.
The Nifty IT index was up 1.9%, with HCL Technologies rising 3.5%.
Hero MotoCorp was the top loser on the Nifty 50 index, down 0.6%.
Meanwhile, Asian markets gained, as investors awaited a clear result from the US election. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.5% to reach its highest since March 2018.
Online bookmakers were leaning towards Democratic challenger Joe Biden winning as voting results were announced after having favoured incumbent Donald Trump earlier.
"We will enter a period of uncertainty for a few weeks and the markets will remain volatile," Esquire Capital's Dasgupta said, referring to the US presidential election results.