Sensex gains 1 pct; SBI surges on stable asset quality

MUMBAI (Reuters) – The BSE Sensex and Nifty rose for a fourth consecutive day on Friday, as State Bank of India surged after bad loans rose only slightly in the previous quarter, with sentiment also underpinned by stable consumer inflation data and stronger global markets.

The Nifty was up 1.7 percent for the week, snapping two consecutive weeks of falls, after data this week was revised sharply upwards.

Hopes about the economy were further buoyed after data on Thursday showed India’s retail inflation stayed well below the central bank’s target, bolstering prospects for further interest rate cuts.

The BSE Sensex closed 1.01 percent higher at 29,094.93 points.

The Nifty gained 1.08 percent to 8,805.50 points

Gains tracked a rally in Asian shares that sent the MSCI Asia-Pacific index excluding Japan up 1.5 percent.

Shares in State Bank of India closed 7.97 percent higher, its biggest single-day gain since May 23, 2014.

The lender said on Friday its bad loans as a percentage of total loans were 4.9 percent for the three months to Dec. 31, compared with 4.89 percent a quarter earlier. Analysts had expected the number to be higher.

(Reporting by Indulal PM; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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