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Indian Shares End Sharply Higher Ahead Of Exit Polls

Despite weakness in global markets, Indian stocks ended sharply higher on Friday, extending gains from previous session, with traders indulging in some strong buying ahead of exit polls for the Lok Sabha elections.

Exit poll results are due this Sunday, while election results are scheduled to be out on May 23.

The benchmark BSE Sensex jumped 537.29 points, or 1.44%, to settle at 37,930.77.

The National Stock Exchange's Nifty50 climbed up 150.05 points, or 1.33%, to 11,407.15. Both Sensex and the Nifty posted their best closing levels since May 7.

Automobile, bank and FMCG stocks were in demand. Among individual stocks, Hindustan Unilever, HDFC, Bajaj Finance, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and State Bank of India posted strong gains.

Among automobile stocks, Bajaj Auto ended 3.3% up after reporting a 21% surge in net profit for the fourth quarter.

Maruti Suzuki, Escorts, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hero Motocorp, Eicher Motors and Ashok Leyland ended stronger by 1 to 4.3%.

Pharma stocks Aurobindo Pharma and Dr Reddy's Laboratories declined sharply, losing 7.5% and 2%, respectively.

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