Indian shares hit life highs; Reliance, HDFC gain
By Arnab Paul
May 21 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose for a fourth session to record highs on Tuesday, led by heavyweights including Reliance Industries Ltd RELI.NS, as expectations of a stable government ran high after exit polls on Sunday projected Prime Minister Narendra Modi winning a second term.
Exit polls, which have a mixed record in a country with an electorate of 900 million people, projected Modi's National Democratic Alliance(NDA) winning over 300 seats in the lower house of parliament.
The broader NSE index .NSEI was up 0.21% by 0600 GMT after hitting a record 11,883.55, while the benchmark BSE index .BSESN was 0.30% higher after climbing to its highest at 39,571.73.
On Monday, the indexes posted their biggest single-day gain since September 2013.
However, analysts see markets quickly moving on to broader economic triggers after election results, expected on May 23.
"We could see a short rally till Thursday but I expect consolidation after that," said Pritam Deuskar, a fund manager at Bonanza Portfolio in Mumbai.
"Corporate earnings have not grown as expected in the fourth quarter, inflation is likely to climb due to higher crude prices. So these are among the factors the markets will shift focus to after May 23."
Ability of the markets to sustain gains will also depend on global catalysts, particularly oil prices and U.S.-China trade dispute, both of which are unfavourable at this juncture, DBS Group said in a note.
The NSE index was lifted primarily by Reliance Industries Ltd RELI.NS, which climbed 2.3%, and Housing Development Finance Corp HDFC.NS that gained 1.7%.
Among top percentage gainers, Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd REDY.NS and Bharti Infratel Ltd BHRI.NS rose over 3% each.
However, most stocks in the NSE index were trading lower. Tata Motors Ltd TAMO.NS slumped over 5% on weak forecast for the first half of fiscal year 2020. The Nifty Auto index .NIFTYAUTO was 1.07% lower.
Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd BPCL.NS, which fell nearly 6%, was the top percentage loser on the NSE index.
(Reporting By Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; editing by Gopakumar Warrier)