India's NSE ends at four-month high, auto stocks drive gains

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A man wearing a protective mask walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

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BENGALURU, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Indian shares ended higher on Tuesday, boosted by auto stocks, with the NSE Nifty 50 index posting its highest level since April 5 at close.

The NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) gained 0.7% to end at 17,825.25. The S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) closed up 0.6% at 59,842.21.

The Nifty Auto index (.NIFTYAUTO) hit a record high with its 2.6% gain.

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Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (MAHM.NS) gained, a day after the automaker and Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) announced the expansion of their MEB alliance to accelerate electrification of the Indian auto market.

Refinitiv Eikon data showed 22 of the 43 companies listed on the Nifty 50 index beat analysts' expectations for results in the June-quarter. Nearly all Indian companies had reported their results by Friday.

Strong June-quarter results drove shares of Hero MotoCorp (HROM.NS)and Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIFI.NS), which ended up 2% and 2.3% respectively.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSE.NS) was the top percentage gainer on the Nifty 50, after its unit agreed to buy inland container depot in western India from Navkar Corp Ltd (NAVR.NS).

Cooling consumer inflation print lifted sentiment in financial markets alongside expectations the central bank was likely to rein in the pace of its policy rate hikes from next month. read more

Analysts expect the second half of the year to improve for Indian firms, led by softening commodity prices that are expected to ease the pressure on margins.

India's currency and debt markets remained closed on Tuesday for a holiday.

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Reporting by Tanvi Mehta and Gaurav Dogra in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Neha Arora

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