* BSE ends up 0.57 pct; NSE gains 0.6 pct
* Goldman Sachs upgrades L&T; shares gain
* RBI rate cut expectations grow
By Manoj Dharra
MUMBAI, March 6 Indian shares gained for a
second straight session on Wednesday as hopes about the U.S.
economy and a weakening rupee boosted software services
exporters, while Larsen & Toubro gained after Goldman Sachs
upgraded the stock to "buy."
Domestic gains came as part of a global equity rally on the
back of the U.S. accommodative monetary policy and expectations
of pledges of support for growth from the European Central Bank
and the Bank of Japan this week.
At home, investors are hopeful the Reserve Bank of India
will cut interest rates later this month given a sharp slowdown
in growth, although the country's record high current account
deficit remains a key worry.
"I firmly believe that the rally should sustain as we expect
some more initiatives by the government and the RBI should also
cut rates in its March meeting," said G. Chokkalingam, executive
director and chief investment officer, Centrum Wealth
Domestic institutional selling should also dry up since the
fiscal year-end is near, added Chokkalingam.
The benchmark BSE index rose 0.57 percent, or
109.44 points, to end at 19,252.61, the highest close since Feb.
25, after having touched a three-month low on Monday.
The broader NSE index rose 0.59 percent, or 34.35
points, to end at 5,818.60.
Those gains tracked advances in global equity markets, with
the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting a record
closing high on Tuesday, while European shares hit their highest
since the 2008 collapse of U.S. bank Lehman Brothers.
Expectations that earnings will improve this year,
especially in the United States on easy monetary policy, boosted
domestic technology shares.
Infosys Ltd gained 1.7 percent, while Tata
Consultancy Services Ltd rose 1.4 percent.
Larsen & Toubro Ltd gained 2.63 percent after
Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to "buy" from "neutral", citing
cheaper valuations after recent underperformance against the
broader index and the prospect of stable revenue growth over the
DLF Ltd gained 3.92 percent ahead of its board
meeting later in the day in which the property developer is
expected to decide on a share sale that traders are betting
could come at a higher-than-expected price.
ICICI Bank Ltd rose 1.35 percent a day after the
private sector bank said it had received $100 million in
repatriation from its UK unit.
However, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd fell 2.18 percent
a day after the automaker said in an exchange filing it had
received a notice of strike from the employees union at its
Nashik plant, while saying work had stopped briefly in two
assembly shops at the plant.
AstraZeneca Pharma India slumped 6.31 percent a
day after the company said in a statement promoter AstraZeneca
Pharmaceuticals AB Sweden decided to reduce its shareholding in
the company from the current 89.99 percent.
Traders had expected the delisting of the Indian unit of the
Swedish drugmaker, and not a stake sale to meet the minimum
public shareholding requirement.
(Additional reporting by Abhishek Vishnoi; Editing by