December 27, 2017 / 6:42 AM / 2 months ago

Indian shares hit record highs for 3rd straight session

* NSE index up 0.06 pct, BSE index 0.23 pct higher

* Pharma stocks gain for 4th session

* Sun Pharmaceutical Industries hits 5-month high

By Vishal Sridhar

Dec 27 (Reuters) - Indian shares touched record highs for a third consecutive session on Wednesday, with investors picking pharma stocks such as Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd that have lagged a broader market rally this year.

The gains tracked Asian shares, which edged higher as a rally in commodities to multi-year peaks pushed resources-linked stocks up.

“Global liquidity and lack of other attractive investment options are supporting the current global equity rally. Pharma and IT stocks are available at attractive valuations, so some steam is visible there,” said Sumit Pokharna, deputy vice president at Kotak Securities.

The broader NSE index was up 0.06 percent at 10,538.15 as of 0545 GMT after earlier rising to an all-time high of 10,548.20.

The benchmark BSE index was trading 0.23 percent higher at 34,090.40 after earlier hitting a record high of 34,123.14.

Indian shares have touched record highs this month on optimism that the government would continue with its reform agenda following victories in key state elections by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party.

The markets were also supported by fund flows from domestic investors. On Tuesday, domestic institutional investors bought shares worth a net 5.45 billion rupees ($84.97 million), according to turnover data from BSE. bit.ly/2CcHLT4

Pharma stocks gained for a fourth straight session and were among the top gainers on the NSE index. Shares of Lupin Ltd , Aurobindo Pharma Ltd and Cipla Ltd were up more than 1 percent each.

The Nifty Pharma index rose as much as 2.9 percent.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries surged as much as 6.4 percent, its biggest intraday percent gain since March 14, after the U.S. FDA accepted the company’s application for a new drug that will be used to treat chronic dry eye.

Reliance Communications Ltd, the telecom operator backed by Anil Ambani, extended gains for a second straight session after it announced a new debt reduction plan with no write-offs. It was trading 20.7 percent higher.

$1 = 64.1425 Indian rupees Reporting by Vishal Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath

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