* NSE index up 0.49 pct, BSE index 0.45 pct higher
* IT and financials drive gains
By Chandini Monnappa
March 28 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose ahead of the expiry of monthly derivatives contracts on Thursday, bolstered by IT and financial stocks, as investors turned their focus on a slew of events for further cues.
The Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy decision is scheduled next week, where it is expected to slash rates to boost spending, while companies begin reporting their quarterly performances mid-April. Further, India heads into general elections in less than two weeks, and the incumbent government is expected to return to power.
“We are expecting a rate cut from the next policy meet. If it is a 50 bps cut then we may see a quantum jump in the market...and as we get closer to the polls, markets will remain in a range, we may not see any adverse effect,” said R.K. Gupta, managing director at Taurus Asset Management.
“We are waiting for cues from the next corporate earnings. If the results don’t support high expectations, then we may see a correction before the polls.”
Domestically, traders are also awaiting cues from the roll-over of monthly derivatives contracts later in the day.
The broader NSE index rose 0.49 percent to 11,501.65 as of 0502 GMT
The benchmark BSE index gained 0.45 percent to 38,304.03.
Nifty’s bank index ticked up as much as 0.56 percent, with State Bank of India rising 1.2 percent to its highest since Sept. 3, and Housing Development Finance Corporation gaining as much as 1.46 percent.
Among IT stocks, HCL Technologies Ltd was the top gainer on the index, rising as much as 3.7 percent. Infosys Ltd advanced 2.1 percent while Tata Consultancy Services Ltd gained 1.9 percent.
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ld and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd were among the top losers on the index. (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)