March 12, 2019 / 6:31 AM / 8 days ago

Strong FII inflows, rupee lift Indian shares to near 6-month high

* Both NSE, BSE indexes up about 1 pct

* Rupee hits 2-1/2-month peak

By Tanvi Mehta

March 12 (Reuters) - Indian shares jumped over 1 percent on Tuesday to a near six-month high, buoyed by strong foreign fund inflows as chances brightened of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party returning to power for a second term.

Investor sentiment was also boosted by a strong rupee, which rose to a two-and-a-half-month high, and gains in broader Asian stock markets after the European Commission agreed to changes in a Brexit deal ahead of a vote in the British parliament on a divorce agreement.

Net foreign portfolio inflows into Indian shares hit a 15-month high of $2.42 billion in February, a big swing from 2018’s net outflows of $4.4 billion.

For an interactive graphic on weekly FII investment, click tmsnrt.rs/2EUCEY9

“Globally, there is allocation towards emerging markets and we’re getting a share... Market prefers stability, they prefer if ruling government continues,” said Neeraj Dewan, director, Quantum Securities.

Shares in India and Malaysia were the most expensive in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, Refinitiv data showed.

The broader NSE index was up 0.98 percent at 11,277 as of 0623 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 1 percent higher at 37,426.01.

Gains were driven by market heavyweights Reliance Industries Ltd, ICICI Bank and Larsen & Toubro Ltd .

Infrastructure and realty stocks also rose, with the Nifty Realty index up 3.4 percent.

Bharti Infratel Ltd was the top percentage loser on the NSE index, after the company said Bharti Airtel Ltd would lower its direct stake in the telecom tower company by more than a half.

Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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