* NSE index up 0.6 pct, BSE index 0.5 pct higher
* Macron wins 1st round in French election, far ahead in polls
* Cement stocks rally
By Darshana Sankararaman
April 24 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose on Monday and the rupee strengthened as investors breathed a sigh of relief after the market’s favoured candidate, Emmanuel Macron, won the first round of the French presidential election.
The outcome led to a mass unwinding of safe-haven trades in favour of riskier assets, although in India gains were tempered as investors awaited a slew of quarterly earnings reports, including that of Reliance Industries Ltd due later in the day.
“There’s a good chance in France for Macron to win, which is positive for global markets,” said Neeraj Dewan, director at Quantum Securities.
Macron will now face far-right leader Marine Le Pen in a May 7 runoff, with opinion polls on Sunday predicting an easy win for him in the final clash.
The broader NSE index rose 0.62 percent to 9,175.60 by 0622 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.52 percent higher at 29,518.15.
The rupee strengthened to 64.4850/4900 per dollar from its close of 64.61/62 on Friday, but bonds fell, with the benchmark 10-year bond yield rising 2 basis points to 6.94 percent.
Cement stocks were among the biggest gainers on the NSE index, following better-than-expected quarterly results by ACC Ltd on Friday. The Nifty realty index climbed as much as 3.9 percent to its highest since July 2014.
ACC gained as much as 6.2 percent and was the top percentage gainer on the NSE index.
HDFC Bank Ltd rose as much as 2.8 percent to a record high after the country’s second-biggest lender by assets on Friday reported higher-than-expected profit for the March quarter.
But IT stocks fell on continued concerns over U.S. President Donald Trump’s order last week to a review the country’s visa program to encourage hiring Americans. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Infosys Ltd, and Wipro Ltd dropped more than 1 percent each.
Indian firms like Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, and Wipro are top beneficiaries of the H-1B visa programme, using it to send computer engineers to service clients in the U.S., their largest overseas market. (Reporting By Darshana Sankararaman in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)