August 3, 2018 / 7:18 AM / 2 months ago

Indian shares rise after 2 days of falls, financials lead

* NSE index up 0.7 pct, BSE index 0.8 pct higher

* ONGC up after strong June-quarter results

* HDFC higher after three sessions of falls

By Arnab Paul

Aug 3 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose on Friday after two consecutive sessions of falls, boosted by financial and energy stocks, and the latest weather office forecast of average rainfall during the last two months of the crucial monsoon season.

Domestic stock markets also tracked broader Asia which inched higher following a tech-led rise on Wall Street, although threats of an all-out Sino-U.S. trade war weighed on investor sentiment.

Global investors were also cautious ahead of the July U.S. jobs report due later on Friday, which will give a reading on the health of the world’s largest economy and possible clues about the pace of Federal Reserve interest rate rises.

“Good monsoons, GST cuts and strong quarterly earnings will push the markets upwards,” said Rahul Sharma, a senior research analyst with Mumbai-based investment advisory firm Equity99.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday the rainfall as a whole during the second half of the season was likely to be 95 percent of a long period average.

On Wednesday, a private weather forecaster had said the country was likely to receive below-normal monsoon rains in 2018, raising concerns over farm output in Asia’s third-biggest economy.

The monsoon delivers nearly 70 percent of rains that India needs to water farms and recharge reservoirs and aquifers. Nearly half of India’s farmland, without any irrigation cover, depends on annual June-September rains to grow a number of crops.

The broader NSE index was up 0.74 percent at 11,328.05 as of 0712 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.75 percent higher at 37,445.13.

For the week, the NSE and BSE indexes were up 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

The Nifty Financial Services index gained as much as 1.2 percent after declining 2.4 percent in the previous three sessions.

Index heavyweight Housing Development Finance Corp rose 2.2 percent after raising its retail prime lending rate by 20 basis points. It had shed 4.8 percent in the previous three sessions.

Oil and Natural Gas Corp rose 2.8 percent after the country’s top oil and gas explorer reported a 58 percent surge in June-quarter profit after market hours on Thursday.

Indiabulls Housing Finance jumped 6.7 percent to a near 15-week top after it posted a 30 percent rise in June-quarter profit on Thursday.

Among losers, Jet Airways (India) Ltd fell 5.7 percent on reports of a cash crunch. (Reporting by Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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