March 14, 2019 / 6:17 AM / 12 days ago

Indian shares extend gains; Reliance Industries hits life high

* NSE index up 0.07 pct, BSE index 0.16 pct higher

* Financials top pct gainers

By Tanvi Mehta

March 14 (Reuters) - Indian shares edged higher on Thursday, extending gains into a fourth session, as markets continued to factor in a win for the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government in a general election starting next month.

About 900 million eligible citizens will vote in the seven-stage general election, that will culminate with the counting of votes on May 23.

“There will be some profit-taking now, given the weekly expiry. Market seems bullish... We could see a stronger market by the end of the day,” said Jayant Manglik, president, Religare Broking, adding that the market was witnessing a pre-election rally.

The broader NSE index added 2.8 percent in the previous three sessions of gains, buoyed by strong foreign fund inflows.

The rupee weakened to 69.60 to the dollar after the central bank’s unusual announcement to infuse rupee cash into banks late on Wednesday.

The NSE index was up 0.07 percent at 11,349.45 as of 0539 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.16 percent higher at 37,813.06.

Financials led the gains. Yes Bank Ltd and IndusInd Bank Ltd were the top percentage gainers on the NSE index, up 2.8 percent each.

Reliance Industries Ltd rose as much as 1.1 percent to an all-time high of 1,362 rupees in a record-setting spree.

Meanwhile, consumption-driven stocks declined, capping the gains. ITC Ltd and Hindustan Unilever were the top drags on the NSE index. (Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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