December 20, 2017 / 6:23 AM / in 2 months

Indian shares hit record; auto stocks rise

* NSE, BSE indexes edge up

* NSE auto index gains for 5th session

By Vishal Sridhar

Dec 20 (Reuters) - Indian shares hit record highs at the open on Wednesday, surpassing the previous milestone hit more than a month ago, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s electoral victories in key states continued to lend support.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s victories in Modi’s home state of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh have raised hopes of continued reforms, boosting markets over the last four sessions.

But some caution set in ahead of the release of the minutes from the Reserve Bank of India’s policy meeting earlier this month in which the policy rate was kept unchanged. The minutes are scheduled to be released after the market closes.

“Going forward, we expect markets to be stable as compared to the volatility we observed over the last few weeks,” said Sudhakar Pattabiraman, head of research operations at MarketSmith, which is part of financial services provider William O‘Neil.

The broader NSE index rose as much as 0.3 percent to an all-time high of 10,494.45, surpassing its previous record on Nov 6. The index was trading up 0.17 percent at 0618 GMT.

Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE index rose as much as 0.35 percent to hit a record of 33,956.31, surpassing its previous milestone on Nov. 7. The index pared some of the gains to trade 0.1 percent higher.

Shares of Reliance Industries Ltd were down 0.5 percent, on track to snap a two-day session of gains.

Hindustan Unilever Ltd dropped as much as 1.1 percent, after gaining in the last five sessions, while Axis Bank Ltd was set to snap four straight sessions of gains.

Meanwhile, auto stocks continue to gain for a fifth straight session, with Hero Motocorp Ltd and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd rising 2.3 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.

Shares of Religare Enterprises Ltd rose as much as nearly 5 percent in early trade after Edelweiss Group unit agreed to buy Religare’s securities business. (Reporting by Vishal Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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