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Equities

India shares advance for sixth day as software exporters gain

Infosys, Tata Consultancy rise ahead of earnings

MUMBAI (NewsRise) -- Indian shares rose Thursday, extending gains for the sixth straight day, as software exporters advanced ahead of Infosys's earnings.

The BSE Sensex rose 0.5% to 34,101.13 and the Nifty 50 Index advanced to 0.4% to 10,458.65, recording their highest closing levels in a month. Tata Consultancy Services, India's biggest software exporter, climbed 4%, leading an index of technology stocks on the BSE higher by 3.2%. Rivals Infosys rose 3.4% and HCL Technologies ended 4.5% higher.

Infosys will kick start the quarterly earnings season for the industry when it details its results on Friday. Edelweiss Research expects the company to report a modest 1.4% on-quarter revenue growth in constant currency terms.

Indian equities have rebounded this month, helped by positive global markets, expectations of a normal monsoon, and bets of improvement in corporate earnings this fiscal year. Still, some analysts expect stocks to trade volatile going ahead amid the uncertainty over U.S. - China trade relations and rising crude oil prices.

"The market gained some momentum led by the rally in IT stocks ahead of earnings," said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services. "However, rise in oil price and weakening rupee may cast a cloud over the inflation trajectory and market sentiment."

India's retail inflation for last month is expected to ease to 4.20%, according to a Reuters estimate. The data is due later in the day.

Private lender Axis Bank added 1.6% on hopes a change in management will help it better address the issue of rising bad loans and also revive earnings growth. Earlier this week, the bank's board accepted the request of the current chief executive to shorten her three-year term to seven months.

Tata Motors rose 0.8%. HSBC reiterated its `Buy' rating on stock while reducing its target price marginally to 470 rupees from 480 rupees.

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories fell 2% to 2,058.80 rupees. Credit Suisse kept its underperform rating on the stock with a target price of 1,865 rupees.

Cigarette maker VST Industries rose 1.2% after fourth-quarter net profit increased about 36% on-year.

Dish TV jumped 8.1% on a media report that founder World Crest and others made an offer to buy up to 500.2 million shares in the direct-to-home service provider.

Gains in local shares were in contrast to the rest of the region. The Nikkei Asia300 Index of companies outside Asia fell 0.3% as investors were concerned about rising geopolitical risks after the U.S. President Donald Trump warned of an attack on Syria following news of a suspected strike using chemical weapons on a rebel-held town on Saturday.

--Gurdev Singh Virk

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