Auto, pharma stocks lift Indian shares; indexes rise for eighth day

BENGALURU, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose for an eighth straight session on Wednesday and hit record highs, as auto and drugmaker stocks jumped, with a handful of strong corporate earnings supporting gains.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.7% to 12,718.65 by 0514 GMT and the S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.672% to 43,545.6.

The Nifty Auto index climbed as much as 2.1%, led by a rise of 3.5% in shares of motorcycle maker Hero MotoCorp.

Carmaker Mahindra and Mahindra jumped nearly 3% after it reported a higher quarterly revenue on Tuesday and said it expected strong demand for vehicles until the end of the year.

“The outlook for the (auto) sector is improving continuously and is supported by the festival season and good rural demand,” said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.

“This trend is likely to continue for some time.”

An industry body report on Wednesday showed India’s passenger vehicle sales grew more than 14% in October from a year ago.

Drugmakers Cipla Ltd and Divi’s Labs rose about 3% each and helped the Nifty Pharma index add more than 2%.

Natural gas explorer GAIL (India) rose as much as 4.5% after it reported a higher September-quarter profit on Tuesday.

Miner Hindalco rose 2.9% after it posted higher copper sales during the quarter to September, despite reporting a fall in quarterly profit on a one-time charge.

The Nifty banking and financials indexes rose more than 1% each. Private-sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank was up 2.6% after MSCI announced here the inclusion of the stock in its India index from Nov. 30.

IndusInd Bank was the session’s top loser, falling 3.1%.

Meanwhile, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4% as news of a potential COVID-19 vaccine offset worries of rising infections in Europe and the United States. (Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)