April 18, 2018 / 6:36 AM / in 4 months

Indian shares gain; BSE index set for longest winning run in 10 yrs

* NSE index up 0.16 pct, BSE index 0.2 pct higher

* BSE index set for longest gaining streak since Oct 2007

* Hindustan Unilever hits all-time peak

By Vishal Sridhar and Gaurav Dogra

April 18 (Reuters) - Indian shares crept higher on Wednesday, set for a 10th consecutive session of wins, buoyed by hopes of strong quarterly results, with consumer staples stocks among top gainers as forecasts of normal monsoon brightened their outlook.

Gains across broader Asian stock markets also boosted sentiment, with MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.5 percent.

India’s benchmark BSE index was 0.2 percent higher at 34,465.17, on track to mark its longest gaining streak since early October 2007.

The broader NSE index was up 0.16 percent at 10,565.10 as of 0554 GMT, on track to post its longest winning run since late January 2015.

“The rally suggests that investors are expecting better quarterly results with positive monsoon forecast also boosting the sentiment,” Siddharth Sedani, Vice President - Head Equity Advisory, Anand Rathi.

“Markets will be range-bound with stock specific moves taking place based on earnings. Volatility of rupee and a tepid outlook forecast from Infosys Ltd is weighing on IT stocks.”

ITC Ltd, India’s biggest cigarette maker which also sells biscuits under the Sunfeast brand, was the top contributor on both the indexes and was on track to gain for a third straight session.

Consumer staples stocks such as Dabur India Ltd rose as much as 2.8 percent to hit a near 11-week high, while Hindustan Unilever Ltd hit an all-time high.

Media stocks also gained with Nifty media index up 1.5 percent. Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd rose as much as 3.3 percent to hit a 3-week high of 594.9 rupees.

However, information technology stocks continued to be under selling pressure following Infosys March quarter results on Friday.

Meanwhile, shares of cement maker ACC Ltd and IT firm Mindtree Ltd were trading largely unchanged ahead of their quarterly results due later in the day.

Reporting by Vishal Sridhar and Gaurav Dogra in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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