March 22, 2018 / 6:13 AM / a month ago

Indian shares rise ahead of derivatives expiry

* NSE index up 0.15 pct, BSE index 0.21 pct higher

* Traders awaiting cues from F&O expiry

* Sun Pharma rises on FDA nod

By Krishna V Kurup

March 22 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose on Thursday, led by energy and financial stocks, ahead of the expiry of derivatives contracts and after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates while retaining its view for three hikes this year.

The Fed raised interest rates and forecast at least two more hikes for 2018, signalling growing confidence that U.S. tax cuts and government spending will boost the economy and inflation and lead to more aggressive tightening in future.

Given that some investors had expected it to project three more rate hikes, the guidance was perceived by some as less hawkish than anticipated, a positive factor for risk assets in general, though analysts noted the Fed was upbeat on the economy overall.

Domestically, traders are also awaiting cues from the roll-over of monthly derivatives contracts later in the day.

The broader NSE index was up 0.15 percent at 10,170.60 as of 0538 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index rose 0.21 percent to 33,204.48.

“It looks like a relief rally after the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting. There is also some short-covering today due to (F&O) expiry,” said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.

“Going forward, if this relief rally continues in the U.S., then domestically April will be better than what we have seen in March.”

Energy stocks Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd gained 2.4 percent while Reliance Industries rose 1.25 percent on firmer oil prices.

Among financials, HDFC Bank Ltd rose 0.7 percent while Housing Development Finance Corp was up 0.6 percent.

Among other gainers, drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd rose 3.3 percent after the U.S. drug regulator approved a drug used for treating a skin disorder.

Jindal Drilling and Industries Ltd, which provides drilling services to oil and gas explorers, posted its biggest intraday gain since June 2017 on reaching settlement for an arbitration award against the company.

Meanwhile, Hindustan Construction Co Ltd slumped to its lowest since Aug. 31, 2016 on reports that its unit Lavasa Corp is planning to declare bankruptcy due to challenges in raising money for project completion. (Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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