BENGALURU, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Indian shares hit a record high on Friday, with banking and financial stocks leading gains, as the country's retail inflation eased on improved supplies and government assured support to tide over economic strain caused by the pandemic.
By 0349 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.35% at 16,427 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.36% to 55,041.50.
Consumer prices eased to 5.59% last month from June's 6.26% annual inflation rate and below a Reuters poll forecast of 5.78%.
Aiding sentiment further, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told industrialists on Thursday that the economy had not so far reached the level where financial liquidity support could be withdrawn by the central bank.
The Nifty bank index rose 0.5%, while the financials gained 0.47%.
Nifty 50 companies Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd and Grasim Industries Ltd will report earnings later in the day.
(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich) ((Sethuraman.NR@thomsonreuters.com; (+91 8061822737); Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))