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Indian shares rise, set for best year since 2014

Indian shares rose on Friday, with the market set to end 2017 with the biggest yearly gains since 2014 as strong foreign fund inflows, hopes of an improving economy, and higher corporate earnings boosted investor confidence.

Asian markets were firm, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inching up 0.3%. Equities have been on a record-setting run through the year on optimism that the government would continue its reform agenda after winning elections in Gujarat.

Foreign investors have bought into Indian stocks worth the net worth all transactions amounting to $7.6 billion so far in the year, according to clearing and exchange data.

“Ever since Gujarat elections, expectations are rising that the upcoming Budget would be rural focused and that is supporting the market sentiment in the near term. Though crude’s spike towards $70 could be a risk,” said Hitesh Agrawal, EVP & Head Retail Research, Religare Securities Ltd.

The broader NSE index was up 0.34% at 10,513.50 at the time of writing, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.44% higher at 33,998.31.

Both the indexes, up more than 27%, are on track for a second straight year of gains. On Friday, shares of Reliance Communications Ltd surged as much as 30% to their highest since April 7.

The Anil Ambani-backed company on Thursday agreed to sell its wireless assets to Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, the telecoms arm of elder brother Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd.

Reliance Industries, up 0.8%. Idea Cellular Ltd , up more than 3.5 percent, extended gains for a second straight session. Meanwhile, shares of the Gujarat-based Astron Paper & Board Mill Ltd more than doubled on its market debut.

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