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Easing Middle East worries, stable earnings power Indian shares to weekly gains

The new logo of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building is seen in Mumbai

By Bharath Rajeswaran and Manvi Pant

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India's benchmark indexes fell on Friday, dragged by financials, although the losses were not enough to prevent weekly gains, powered by a post-results rally in key index constituents and easing Middle East worries.

The NSE Nifty 50 was down 0.67% to 22,419.95, on the day, while the S&P BSE Sensex shed 0.82% to 73,730.16. Both the indexes snapped a five-day winning streak.

For the week, the Nifty 50 and Sensex gained about 1.25% and 1%, respectively.

"Easing geopolitical tensions in Middle East, lack of any major negative surprises from earnings, which have justified the high valuations, have helped Indian equities post weekly gains," said G Chokkalingam, founder and head of research at Equinomics Research.

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Axis Bank surged 9.83% this week, its best since October 2022, and was the top weekly gainer on the Nifty 50, after the private lender beat profit estimates in the March quarter.

Drugmaker Divi's Laboratories logged a weekly gain of 9.39% after announcing capacity addition at its manufacturing facility at an estimated investment of 6.5-7 billion rupees.

Information technology company Tech Mahindra surged 7.43% on the day, and 7.13% this week, after the company announced a three-year business plan.

"The company's new turnaround plan looks sensible," analysts at HSBC said, terming Tech Mahindra's valuation "attractive" in comparison with its peers.

Axis Bank, Divi's Laboratories and Tech Mahindra were among the top five Nifty 50 gainers, for the week.

In contrast, Kotak Mahindra Bank tumbled 10.27%, its worst week in nearly four years, after India's central bank barred the private lender from taking new digital clients and issuing credit cards, on Wednesday.

Bajaj Finance dropped 7.73%, after the non-bank lender forecast slower asset growth and weaker margins. The stock lost 5.45% this week and was among the top Nifty 50 losers.

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran and Manvi Pant in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza, Mrigank Dhaniwala and Sonia Cheema)