March 15, 2019 / 5:59 AM / 5 months ago

India's BSE index reclaims 38,000 level; Airtel falls on rating downgrade

* NSE index up 0.64 pct, BSE index 0.61 pct higher

* NSE index could breach 11,760 in short term - analyst

By Tanvi Mehta

March 15 (Reuters) - India’s benchmark BSE index went past the key 38,000 level on Friday after a gap of six months, as the pre-election rally continued on expectation a win for the current coalition government would bode well for market stability.

India will hold a general election in seven stages starting on April 11 and about 900 million citizens will be eligible to vote in the mammoth exercise lasting over a month.

Easing tensions with neighbour Pakistan appeared to have improved chances of a second term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

“The recent rally, which has taken place post consolidation of four months, was pending and is likely to stay... We are likely to breach the (NSE index) peak of 11,760 in the short term,” said Pritesh Mehta, senior vice president, Yes Securities.

The broader NSE index was up 0.64 percent at 11,416.35 as of 0526 GMT. It had hit the 11,760.20 level in August.

The BSE index was 0.61 percent higher at 37,985.98, after breaching the 38,000 level for the first time since September 2018.

Both indexes rose for a fifth straight session and were poised for a weekly gain of 3.5 percent.

Financials drove the market higher, with the Nifty Bank index up 1.4 percent.

Kotak Mahindra Bank was the top percentage gainer on the NSE index with a rise of 4 percent.

IT stocks gained, with the Nifty IT index up 0.9 percent.

Mid-caps, which have returned to the limelight on attractive valuations, rose with the Nifty Mid-cap 100 index trading 0.5 percent higher.

Bharti Airtel Ltd dropped as much as 2.63 percent after Jefferies downgraded the stock to “underperform” from “hold” and cut its price target to 270 rupees from 280 rupees. (Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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