* BSE gains 1.2 pct; NSE ends 1.36 pct higher
* Jet Airways shares gain 10.8 pct after deal with Etihad
* NSE banking index up 1.5 pct, tech index down 1.6 pct
By Swati Bhat
MUMBAI, April 25 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose for a fourth
straight day on Thursday, closing at their highest level in more
than a month as expectations of a rate cut at the central bank's
upcoming annual monetary policy review continued to keep
Shares were also buoyed by positive global sentiment on
hopes major central banks will ease monetary policy further or
continue to keep it loose for long.
The weak inflation print in March and the recent declines in
oil and gold prices have stoked hopes of at least a 25 basis
point cut in benchmark interest rates at the Indian central
bank's annual policy review on May 3.
"If the current rally has to sustain, good news has to come
in from the RBI policy. Monsoon forecast would also add to the
current growth versus slowdown conundrum," said Deven Choksey,
managing director, KR Choksey Securities.
"Political uncertainty would, however, remain a joker in the
pack," he added.
The benchmark BSE index rose 1.19 percent, or
227.49 points, to 19,406.85, its highest close since March 15.
The broader NSE index rose 1.36 percent, or 79.40
points, to 5,916.30, its highest closing level since March 11.
Asian shares rose with recovering commodities and views that
a run of weak global economic data will encourage major central
banks to keep or deepen their monetary stimulus improving risk
sentiment, but weak data undermined the dollar.
Jet Airways Ltd closed up 10.8 percent as
profit-taking crept in after the stock rose almost 20 percent in
pre-open trades on its $379 million stake sale deal with Etihad.
The deal set a valuation benchmark for further investment in
Indian airlines, with budget carrier SpiceJet Ltd
frequently the subject of stake sale reports.
SpiceJet closed up 18.2 percent, while Kingfisher Airlines
Ltd gained 0.7 percent.
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd gained as much as 5.2
percent to an all-time high of 2,000 rupees before closing up
4.8 percent on hopes growth in the domestic market would remain
Other pharmaceutical firms also gained with Lupin Ltd
closing up 1.7 percent and Sun Pharmaceutical
Industries Ltd ending higher 3.1 percent.
Idea Cellular Ltd gained as much as 4.2 percent on
expectations earnings for the January-March quarter due after
market hours would beat estimates, but later gave up gains to
close 1.4 percent higher.
Rate-sensitive banking stocks also continued to gain on
rate-cut hopes. Axis Bank Ltd finished up 4.1 percent
after better-than-hoped March quarter results, while ICICI Bank
Ltd rose 1.4 percent ahead of its results on Friday.
The Indian government's hefty cash holdings, now parked at
the central bank, may soon be deposited at commercial banks,
sources told Reuters.
The move would add liquidity to the banking system and make
monetary policy more effective by making it easier for banks to
cut lending rates and was also a factor boosting banks.
Among the losers, technology shares which have been falling
after disappointing results and guidance continued to see more
selling, possibly on the back of roll-over of short positions on
the last day of the April derivatives contract expiry.
The NSE technology index has lost nearly 16 percent
since the start of the current downtrend on April 12.
The Nifty has gained 4.1 percent since the expiry of the
last derivatives contract on March 28.
Infosys Ltd fell 1.5 percent, while Tata
Consultancy Services dropped 2 percent and Wipro
slipped 2.1 percent.
For additional stocks on the move double click
FACTORS TO WATCH
* Dollar weakness keeps euro off 3-wk lows
* Oil steady above $101 as rally runs out of steam
* UK growth boosts sterling, Europe shares gain
* Foreign institutional investor flows
* For closing rates of Indian ADRs
ASIA-PACIFIC STOCK MARKETS:
Pan-Asia........ Japan....... S.Korea...
S.E. Asia....... Hong Kong... Taiwan....
Australia/NZ.... India....... China.....
Wall Street .... Gold ....... Currency..
Eurostocks...... Oil ......... JP bonds..
ADR Report ..... LME metals. US bonds..
Stocks News US.. Stocks News Europe.....
DIARIES & DATA:
Indian Data Watch Asia earnings diary
U.S. earnings diary European diary
Indian diary Wall Street Week Ahead
Eurostocks Week Ahead
For top Asian company news, double click on:
U.S. company news European company news
Forex news Global Economy news
Technology news Telecoms news
Media news Banking news
Politics/General Asia Macro data
(Additional reporting by Abhishek Vishnoi; Editing by