Indian shares gain; hopes high from govt to clear reforms

Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:56pm IST

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MUMBAI, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Indian shares extended gains on
Tuesday on optimism the government will be able to clear reforms
announced in September, which were aimed at reviving growth and
staving off a credit rating downgrade.
     The gains tracked Asian peers, which rose on new debt
targets for Greece and a political agreement on disbursing the
next instalment of aid. Sentiment was also helped by ratings
agency Moody's maintaining India's rating outlook at stable.
    The market was eagerly awaiting a media briefing by the
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram at 4:15 p.m. (1045 GMT). 
    He is expected to outline the government's steps to push
through its economic reforms, even as opposition lawmakers
demand the government roll back its plans to open up the
supermarket sector to foreign chains.
    Moody's said on Tuesday the outlook on its Baa3 rating for
India is stable, citing the country's large, diverse economy and
strong gross domestic product growth as supportive of the
rating. 
    "A light market has risen on factors like Greece, increasing
support on reforms and Moody's statement. The finance minister's
press conference would be a further positive," said Vivek
Mahajan, head of research, Aditya Birla Money.
    The BSE index was up 1.44 percent at 18,802. The
50-share NSE index was also up 1.36 percent at 5,712.75.
    The stock market will be closed on Wednesday for a religious
holiday.
    Bank shares were leading the gains ahead of the November
derivatives expiry on Thursday. HDFC Bank Ltd rose 2.6
percent and ICICI Bank Ltd gained 1.3 percent, while
mortgage lender HDFC was up 2.6 percent, .
    Export-driven technology shares such as Infosys 
rose, tracking the recent weakness in the rupee, which has
dropped about 3.5 percent in November.
    The rupee could continue to remain under pressure in the
near-term due to a widening fiscal gap, with hopes diminishing
for dollar inflows as the parliament continues to remain in a
deadlock over reforms, which could bring in much-needed foreign
investment.
    Shares in Pantaloon Retail India Ltd gained 6
percent, while Trent Ltd rose 2.5 percent, on hopes
the government will be able to garner support to clear the
opening of the supermarket sector, dealers said.     

 (Reporting by Manoj Dharra, Abhishek Vishnoi; Editing by
Prateek Chatterjee)
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