* BSE index gains 0.46 pct; NSE ends 0.48 pct higher
* Lenders gain on lower-than-expected inflation data
* Fertiliser shares surge on govt's urea manufacturing push
By Abhishek Vishnoi
MUMBAI, Dec 14 Indian shares rose on Friday for
the first session in six as lenders such as ICICI Bank Ltd
gained after lower-than-expected inflation data
reinforced hopes the central bank would start cutting interest
rates in January.
India's wholesale inflation cooled to its weakest pace in 10
months in November, a positive sign for the struggling economy,
but probably not a big enough slowdown to persuade the central
bank to cut interest rates next week.
Investors are now waiting for the Reserve Bank of India's
rate decision on Tuesday. Although the central bank is not
expected to ease policy then, traders said they could cut the
cash reserve ratio or sound more dovish on inflation.
"Demand driven inflation has come down to extremely low
levels, so a rate cut in January is a given now," said Sandip
Sabharwal, CEO-PMS, Prabhudas Lilladher, referring to an action
that was imminent.
Now the key thing is to watch whether the RBI thinks out of
the box and cuts rates in December itself, added Sabharwal.
The benchmark BSE index rose 0.46 percent, or 87.99
points, to end at 19,317.25, but ending 0.55 percent lower for
The broader NSE index rose 0.48 percent, or 28.10
points, to finish at 5,879.60, although still down 0.47 percent
for the week.
Stocks in rate-sensitive sectors such as banks and real
estate led the gainers on rising hopes the RBI would move
towards easing interest rates starting early next year.
ICICI Bank gained 1.32 percent, while State Bank of India
ended 2.55 percent higher.
In the real estate sector, DLF rose 1.35 percent
while D B Realty gained 4.56 percent.
Tata Motors Ltd rose 1.46 percent, up for a second
day, after its key Jaguar Land Rover subsidiary reported
higher-than-expected sales at 34,649 vehicles in November.
Capital goods maker, Larsen & Toubro gained 1.46
percent after the Indian cabinet approved the creation of a
special panel on Thursday to speed up the implementation of
big-ticket infrastructure projects.
Fertiliser shares gained after the government approved a new
policy to encourage investment in urea manufacturing, in a move
seen expediting $6.5 billion in projects that have been held
National Fertilizers Ltd rose 2.1 percent,
Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd gained 2.3
percent, while Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals ended
0.8 percent higher.
However, among stocks that declined, Hindustan Unilever
fell 0.6 percent, extending declines for a third day,
on concerns that it may face higher royalty payments to its
parent Unilever Plc.
Indian drugmaker Cipla fell 0.96 percent, down for
a fourth day on profit-taking after it touched an all-time high
of 423 rupees on Dec. 11.
For additional stocks on the move double click
FACTORS TO WATCH
* Yen slips to 9-mth low ahead of Japan election
* Brent rises toward $109 as China data points to recovery
* Euro, shares edge higher ahead of PMI data
* 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 <ECONASIA
(Editing by Anand Basu)