Indian shares rise as auto, financials drive gains

* NSE index rises 0.56%, BSE index 0.62% higher

* Bajaj Auto gains ~2% ahead of results

* Oil marketers fall as crude gains

May 17 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose on Friday, boosted by gains in auto stocks, while robust March-quarter results of financials, including Bajaj Finance Ltd and Bajaj Finserv Ltd, also lifted investor sentiment.

Bajaj Finance rose as much as 5.6% to a record high following a 50% surge in net profit on Thursday while Bajaj Finserv also hit its highest ever after its profit grew by 31.7% to 8.39 billion rupees ($119.51 million).

The Nifty Auto index climbed 0.9%, led by Hero MotoCorp’s 2.5% gains. Bajaj Auto Ltd rose as much as 1.95% ahead of March-quarter results later in the day.

Focus has also shifted to the exit polls on Sunday, indicating the end of the mammoth seven-phase voting phase which began on April 11.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be seeking a second term but opposition parties have taken heart at what they see as signs that BJP may be losing ground and have begun negotiations over a post-election alliance.

The broader NSE index was up 0.56% at 11,319.75 as of 0614 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.62% higher at 37,625.32.

“From a price perspective, the kind of correction that was required in the market has been factored in, the base was getting built for three months,” said Sacchitanand Uttekar, deputy vice president and head of technicals & derivatives at Tradebulls Securities.

“We should see a very positive outcome and Nifty should progress towards 12,000.”

Among the decliners, oil marketers Indian Oil Corp Ltd , Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd fell between 2% and 2.5% as Oil prices climb for a fourth day.

IOC will report its quarterly results later in the day.

JK Tyre and Industries Ltd fell the most in nearly five months after its quarterly profit slumped by around 80%.

Shares of PNB Housing Finance Ltd (PNBHFL) fell as much as 5.5% after its promoter Punjab National Bank Ltd’s agreement with General Atlantic Group to sell part of PNBHFL for 9.26 billion rupees was terminated on Thursday. ($1 = 70.2050 Indian rupees) (Reporting By Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)