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Sensex, Nifty Hit Record Highs

Indian shares hit fresh record highs on Tuesday after the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast near normal south-west monsoon this season, with a well-distributed rainfall.

Experts said a good monsoon could be beneficial for the agriculture and the consumption-driven sectors.

A fall in oil prices, expectations for more rate cuts by the RBI and positive global cues also boosted investor sentiment.

Oil prices held steady in European trade after falling on Monday on talk of Russia and OPEC possibly boosting crude output.

The 30-share BSE Sensex hit a record high of 39,364.34 in intra-day trade before finishing the session up 369.80 points or 0.95 percent at 39,275.64.

The broader Nifty index hit a new high of 11,810.95 before closing up 96.80 points or 0.83 percent at 11,787.15.

Grasim, ONGC, Titan, ICICI Bank and IndusInd Bank rallied 2-4 percent in the Nifty pack, while drug maker Cipla dropped 1.4 percent and IT major Wipro shed 2.1 percent.

Globally, Asian stocks advanced as the U.S. and Japan kicked off their first round of trade talks in Washington aimed at creating a bilateral trade framework.

European shares also moved higher in early trade on the back of encouraging data from China and Europe.

A report showed new home prices in China grew slightly faster in March, signaling an economic rebound.

In Europe, the German ZEW economic sentiment index rebounded to 3.1 percent in April, versus 0.8 expected and -3.6 last.

Official data showed the U.K. unemployment held at a 44-year low of 3.9 percent in February, versus analyst consensus of 4 percent.

China will publish first quarter GDP growth figures on Wednesday, along with monthly industrial output and retail sales numbers.

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