India's Sensex on Course for Longest Stretch of Gains in a Month

(Bloomberg) -- Indian shares advanced, pushing the benchmark equity index toward its longest string of gains in a month.

The S&P BSE Sensex added 0.2 percent to 36,725.42 in Mumbai, in a fourth session of gains, its longest winning streak since Feb. 6. The NSE Nifty 50 Index rose 0.1 percent.

Easing geopolitical tension, a week after skirmishes at the India-Pakistan border, has helped buoy sentiment toward equities. India’s election commission may announce dates for national elections any time for a poll expected to be held in April and May.

The nation’s cabinet Thursday made various decisions, including measures to promote the hydro-power sector and provide additional funds for sugar mills.

Strategist View

“We remain cautiously optimistic on Indian markets going into the elections,” said Sunil Sharma, chief investment officer at Sanctum Wealth Management Pvt. The “global situation like trade disputes, U.S. Fed’s stance on rates have also turned favorable. Money is moving back into mid- and small-cap stocks and geopolitical tension has only helped raise the prospects of the incumbent retaining power at the center,”

The Numbers

  • Thirteen of 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. fell, led by a gauge of healthcare companies
  • Larsen & Toubro Ltd. was the best performer on the benchmark index after saying it won contracts potentially worth 25 billion to 50 billion rupees
  • Biocon Ltd. fell 2.3% after its Bengaluru facility received six observations from U.S. FDA

Analyst Notes/Market-Related Stories

  • M&M Financial Rated New Buy at Haitong International
  • Bharti Airtel to Raise INR320B Via Rights, Perpetual Bond Issue
  • India Cabinet Approves Measures to Boost Hydropower Industry

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