December 18, 2019 / 4:42 AM / a month ago

IT stocks propel Indian shares to all-time peaks

* Both NSE index and BSE index rise

* IT stocks lead gains

By Chandini Monnappa

Dec 18 (Reuters) - Indian shares extended gains to scale record levels early on Wednesday, as a weaker rupee boosted IT stocks and on optimism that the initial Sino-U.S. trade pact will allay one of the major risks to global economic growth.

The NSE Nifty 50 Index was up 0.15% at 12,183.50, as of 0356 GMT, having touched an all-time high of 12,197.65 earlier in the session.

The S&P BSE Sensex index rose 0.18% to 41,421.70.

“It is a dichotomy, economy is bad but markets are up, the guiding sentiment is that there is hope that things will get better going forward,” said Arun Kejriwal, founder of advisory firm Kejriwal Research.

Shares in broader Asia hovered near 18-month peaks, with the with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inching up 0.1%.

A weaker rupee, which lost 0.15% against the dollar, powered Wipro Ltd and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd to the top of the NSE index.

The Nifty IT index rose as much as 1.27%, with Tech Mahindra Ltd gaining 2%.

Market focus will be on a Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting, set to happen later in the day, amid expectations of additional stimulus measures from the government. Telcos Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea eked out minor gains in early trade before reversing course to trade 1.18% and 2.9% lower, respectively.

The country’s telecom regulator on Tuesday deferred a decision to scrap interconnect usage charges by one year to January 2021.

The biggest laggards in the NSE index were Vedanta Ltd and Hindustan Unilever Ltd.

The Nifty PSU Bank index, which tracks the country’s state-run lenders, slipped 1.24%, with State Bank of India slipping 0.33%.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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