By Krishna V Kurup
(Reuters) - Indian shares hit record highs on Monday, as pre-budget cheer and optimism over corporate results offset lowered growth forecasts, with sentiment also boosted by broader Asian markets that advanced towards historic levels.
The rupee, meanwhile, rose to as high as 63.2450 per dollar, its strongest level since April 2015, and was last at 63.3550, compared to its close of 63.3750 on Friday.
The broader NSE Nifty was up 0.55 percent at 10,616.40 as of 0542 GMT, after earlier rising as much as 0.61 percent to hit a record high of 10,623.20.
The benchmark BSE Sensex rose 0.59 percent to 34,356.95, after gaining as much as 0.65 percent to touch a record high of 34,374.85.
"Market is rising in spite of all the negative news around GDP (gross domestic product) estimate cut, as this is more of a pre-budget rally, while upbeat global markets also boosted sentiment," said R.
India lowered its forecast for the current year's economic growth to 6.5 percent on Friday from the earlier estimated 7.5 percent, before a federal budget is released next month, as businesses were hit by the chaotic launch of new nationwide tax last July.
Indications of slightly better earnings this season versus the last quarter has also added to the optimism, Gupta said.
Infosys, which is due to report December-quarter results on Friday, rose 1.8 percent, while ICICI Bank climbed 1.2 percent.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd rose 3.2 percent and was among the top gainers on the indexes.
(Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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