June 2, 2017 / 6:36 AM / 8 months ago

Indian shares scale new peaks; Bharti Airtel leads

* NSE, BSE indexes hit record highs

* Auto stocks surge on May sales data

* Bharti Airtel lead gains on NSE

By Krishna V Kurup

June 2 (Reuters) - Indian shares climbed to fresh highs on Friday, heading for a fourth consecutive week of gains tracking upbeat Asian markets, with automakers such as TVS Motor Co Ltd riding high on robust monthly sales data.

Asian markets rose to their best levels in more than two years as positive data on U.S. manufacturing and employment and buoyant European factory growth boosted investor optimism.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was last up 0.6 percent.

However, broader gains were capped due to caution ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s policy meeting next week. The central bank is expected to keep rates on hold on June 7, though it could soften its hawkish tone after data showed easing inflation.

“The positive sentiment in global markets could rub off on the Indian indices this morning after a session of consolidation on Thursday,” IIFL Wealth Management said in a note.

“After disappointing GDP numbers, the next trigger for the market will be RBI’s interest rate stance next week.”

The broader NSE index was up 0.36 percent as of 0624 GMT, having hit a high of 9,673.50 earlier in the session, while the benchmark BSE index was up 0.4 percent, after hitting a new life-high of 31,332.56. Both indexes have been on a record-setting spree in recent weeks.

For the week, the NSE index was on track to gain 0.6 percent, while the BSE index was set to add 0.8 percent.

Bharti Airtel Ltd led gains on the NSE, climbing as much as 3.9 percent, on receiving approval from the capital markets regulator and stock exchanges for its merger with Telenor India.

The Nifty Auto Index rose to a record level, rising as much as 0.93 percent to 10,992.70.

“Two-wheeler companies reported strong wholesale volumes on the back of wedding season and inventory built-up as companies ramp up production of BS IV vehicles,” IIFL Wealth Management said.

TVS Motor rose as much as 5.8 percent to an all-time high after posting a 16 percent rise in total sales for May on Thursday, while Hero MotoCorp Ltd also climbed 3.1 percent to hit a record high on strong two-wheeler sales in May. (Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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