India's NSE near 15-month closing high; blue chips gain

Last Updated: Fri, Sep 28, 2012 12:50 hrs

* BSE gains 0.99 pct, NSE rises 0.95 pct

* Focus to shift on Q2 earnings now-Analysts

* Tech shares gain on Accenture's guidance

By Abhishek Vishnoi

MUMBAI, Sept 28 (Reuters) - India's NSE index rose on Friday to its highest in 15 months, as blue chips such as Reliance Industries Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd rallied on continued optimism about additional fiscal and economic reforms.

The gains come a day after India raised taxes on rail fares, while pledging to stick to its planned borrowing target for the year, underlining a resolve to curb its fiscal deficit.

The gains also tracked higher Asian shares on hopes a tough Spain budget was a prelude to an EU aid programme that would allow the European Central Bank to try to reduce its high borrowing costs by buying its bonds.

India's main BSE index has rallied 7.6 percent in September, its biggest monthly gain since January, following major fiscal and economic reforms from the government and monetary stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.

The BSE index rose 7.6 percent for the quarter, its biggest quarterly gain since the final quarter of fiscal year 2012.

"We don't foresee a major downside in the immediate term looking at the global and domestic scenario," said R.K. Gupta, managing director at Taurus Mutual Fund.

The market will now start discounting second-quarter earnings, which would start trickling in from mid-October, Gupta added.

India's benchmark BSE index rose 0.99 percent, or 183.24 points, to 18,762.74 on Friday, its highest close since July 25, 2011.

The index, also known as the Sensex, however, gained a marginal 0.05 percent for the week.

The 50-share NSE index gained 0.95 percent, or 53.80 points, to 5,703.3 points and added 0.2 percent for the week.

Blue chips rallied, especially in the autos sector. Tata Motors rose 3 percent, while Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd rose 1.5 percent ahead of September sales data due next week.

Reliance Industries Ltd rose 0.9 percent on expectations of better refining margins and continued support by the ongoing buy back at lower levels.

LIC Housing Finance Ltd rose 3.1 percent after the company hired five banks, including Citigroup and HSBC , for an institutional share sale to raise between $250 million and $270 million, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

Shares in pharmaceutical companies gained despite a recommendation by a ministry panel to cap drug prices, given the proposal is seen as less hurtful than expected.

Cipla Ltd rose 2.3 percent, while Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd rose 2.7 percent

Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd ended 0.1 percent lower after earlier gaining as much as 2.6 percent, as global private equity firm Apax Partners LLP is looking to sell its 10 percent stake in the Indian hospital chain, three sources with direct knowledge of the talks said.

Technology stocks gained after Accenture Plc forecast full-year earnings ahead of analyst estimates as it bolsters its outsourcing business to offset a slowdown in consulting, sending its shares up 5 percent in after-market trade.

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd rose 1.9 percent, while Wipro Ltd rose 1.4 percent.

But shares in United Spirits Ltd fell 4.6 percent on profit booking, after a 10.2 percent rise on Thursday on rising hopes the Indian spirits maker controlled by billionaire Vijay Mallya will clinch a deal to sell a stake to Diageo Plc .

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FACTORS TO WATCH * Spain budget lifts euro but gains seen limited * Oil up above $113 on Spanish budget, Israel comments * European shares, euro claw back up after sell-off * Foreign institutional investor flows * For closing rates of Indian ADRs

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