* BSE index gains 0.31 pct; adds 2.5 pct for week
* NSE index ends 0.31 pct higher; gains 2.7 pct for week
* TCS ends 2.5 pct; Wipro gains 1.8 pct
By Indulal PM
MUMBAI, July 18 (Reuters) - Indian shares edged higher on Friday, gaining for a fourth consecutive session, after Tata Consultancy Services’ better-than-expected earnings sparked a rally in IT stocks and offset global concerns about the downing of a Malaysian airliner in Ukraine.
The broader NSE index rose 2.7 percent for the week, recovering some of its 3.8 percent fall last week when investors reacted with disappointment over the lack of major reforms in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden budget on July 10.
Trading is expected to be dominated by corporate earnings in the near term, with investors also expected to pay close attention to global factors after a Malaysian plane was shot down in eastern Ukraine, stoking tensions between Russia and the West.
Foreign investors have been an integral part behind the NSE’s 21.6 percent gain so far this year. Overseas investors bought Indian shares worth 19.12 billion rupees ($317.7 million) on Thursday, bringing their total investment in Indian shares so far to $11.45 billion, exchange and regulatory data showed.
“We are into the earnings season and there could be stock-specific moves. Markets would be largely news driven. There are geo-political concerns, but we still believe its a buy-on-dips market for quality stocks,” said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, head of research and chief strategist at SMC Global Securities.
The benchmark BSE index ended 0.31 percent higher at 25,641.56. The index gained 2.5 percent this week.
The broader NSE index also gained 0.31 percent to 7,663.90.
Technology shares were leading the gains, with IT index of the NSE ending 1.3 percent higher after TCS’ consolidated net profit for the three months to June 30, rose to a stronger-than-expected 50.58 billion rupees ($840.5 million) from 39.87 billion rupees a year earlier.
Shares in TCS gained 2.5 percent, Wipro Ltd ended 1.8 percent and Infosys Ltd added 0.4 percent.
Among other gainers, lenders further extended their winning streak after the central bank on Tuesday exempted long-term bonds raised for the infrastructure and affordable housing sector from reserve requirements.
NSE bank index or bank nifty gained 6.5 percent this week, the best weekly gain in eight, after falling 7.1 percent in the previous week.
IDFC Ltd rose 2.9 percent, ending up 10.3 percent for the week, ICICI Bank Ltd gained 2.1 percent, while Axis Bank Ltd ended 2.1 percent higher.
Shares of Indian non-banking financial companies, which take gold as collateral, surge after the central bank issued draft guidelines for those seeking a license to set up a payments banks or a small bank.
Muthoot Finance Ltd surged 3.6 percent, while Manappuram Finance Ltd ended up 3.1 percent.
Bucking the trend, power equipment makers and energy stocks fell. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd ended 1.9 percent lower, while Tata Power Co Ltd ended down 2.5 percent and NTPC Ltd closed 0.5 percent lower.
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FACTORS TO WATCH * Yen hands back some gains as Ukraine effect cools * Oil pushes above $108 on downed airliner, * Ukraine unrest, Gaza keep pressure on shares, bonds steady * Foreign institutional investor flows * For closing rates of Indian ADRs
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