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INDIA STOCKS-Indian shares struggle to extend 3-day rally, Sensex hits record

(Updates levels, adds analyst comments)

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU, Nov 25 (Reuters) - India's main benchmark indexes scaled fresh peaks on Friday, but struggled to hold on to gains to extend a three-day rally, with investors digesting the prospects of the path of global monetary policy and its effects on corporate earnings.

The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.28% to an all-time high of 62,447.73, before reversing to trade 0.17% lower at 62,166.12 by midday. The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.1% at 18,464.90, also having reversed course after a 0.27% bump intraday to a 52-week high of 18,533.15.

Both indexes have rallied about 1.8% in the past three days after the minutes from the latest U.S. Federal Reserve raised the prospects of slowing monetary policy tightening as soon as December.

That also pushed the U.S. dollar to a three-month low on Thursday, and, according to traders, led to a general sense that the Reserve Bank of India would also temper its monetary policy.

Any further fall in input costs due to a weaker dollar would "bring stability to the Indian rupee, aid the rally in domestic fast-moving consumer goods, cement, metal companies and push Nifty 50 towards 19,200," said Shrikant Chouhan, head of equity research (retail) at Kotak Securities.

The Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indexes outperformed their larger peers, rising 0.89% and 0.75%, respectively.

Public sector banks extended their rally to a ninth session, led by Punjab National Bank's near 9.5% jump on receiving approval to divest its stake in UTI Asset Management Co.

Index heavyweight Larsen & Toubro climbed most in over a week to a new record.

The IT and FMCG were the top sectoral losers, shedding 0.37% and 0.59%, respectively. (Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru and Akansha Victor; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Eileen Soreng)