May 25, 2018 / 6:53 AM / a year ago

Indian shares rise; IT stocks extend gains

* NSE index up 0.44 pct, BSE index 0.44 pct higher

* United Breweries, United Spirits gain over 7 pct each

By Arnab Paul

May 25 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose on Friday with IT stocks such as Infosys Ltd and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd extending gains for a second day as the rupee hovered near a 16-month low against the dollar.

Short positions in the Indian rupee hit their highest level in nine months, a Reuters poll showed last week, with sentiment soured by rising oil prices which will add to the country’s already widening trade deficit.

“Over last couple of weeks, shares were volatile because of the Karnataka state elections. But now, markets have somewhat stabilised and IT stocks are attractive because of the weak rupee,” said Pritesh Thakkar, Equity Research Associate at KR Choksey Investment Managers.

Asian shares were little changed on Friday amid concerns that U.S. President Donald Trump will call off a key summit with North Korea. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 ended 0.2 percent lower on Thursday.

The broader NSE index was up 0.44 percent at 10,560.45 as of 0621 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.44 percent higher at 34,815.4.

Multi Commodity Exchange Ltd surged as much as 8 percent after report of a merger with NSE.

Liquor companies, United Breweries Ltd and United Spirits Ltd, rose more than 7 percent each after reporting strong Q4 results late on Thursday.

GAIL (India) also gained about 3.7 percent after reporting a nearly four-fold rise in net profit. (Reporting By Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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