July 24, 2018 / 7:24 AM / 9 months ago

Indian shares rise on cement, auto boost; BSE hits highest ever

* NSE index up 0.52 pct, BSE index 0.43 pct higher

* Nifty could reach 11,500 by Dec - analyst

* Auto stocks add to index gains

By Arnab Paul

July 24 (Reuters) - Indian shares gained for the third straight session on Tuesday, with the benchmark BSE index hitting a record, as cement and auto stocks surged on hopes of improved results, while reports suggested a surge in exports to BRICS nations.

Cement maker ACC Ltd jumped as much as 13.3 percent after posting a market-beating quarterly profit. The Mumbai-based company expects demand to be positive, driven by sustained infrastructure spends and rural housing and a normal monsoon.

UltraTech Cement Ltd, one of the biggest contributors to gains in the indexes, was up nearly 5 percent. Grasim Industries Ltd rose 6.2 percent.

“Demand for cement is increasing and these companies are seeing higher realisations,” said Mugilan K, deputy manager of research at Cholamandalam Securities.

“By December we could see Nifty breaching 11,500 levels and in the medium term we can expect Nifty to hit 12,000.”

Technically, the NSE index’s wave pattern suggests it is in wave 3 of a five-wave cycle. If the current wave travels the same distance as wave 1, the index may rise up to 11,538.5 in a couple of months.

India's overall exports to BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) jumped 7.5 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, while imports fell, the Economic Times reported, citing Press Trust of India. bit.ly/2uKzotf

The broader NSE index was up 0.52 percent at 11,142.3 as of 0634 GMT, while the BSE index was 0.43 percent higher at 36,877.71.

Auto stocks reversed losses with the Nifty Auto index trading 1.2 percent higher. The index had shed 2.1 percent in the last six sessions after the government increased the official maximum load carrying capacity of heavy vehicles.

L&T Infotech Ltd rose 7 percent on Tuesday after June-quarter profit rose 35 percent, while L&T Technology Services gained 13.8 percent as quarterly profit more than doubled.

Shares of telecom equipment maker Tejas Networks Ltd was up 5.6 percent after strong results the day before. ($1 = 68.9200 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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