March 12, 2018 / 6:47 AM / in 6 months

Indian shares rise on rally in global markets; inflation data awaited

* NSE index up 0.92 pct, BSE index up 0.88 pct

* Financials, IT stocks gain

* Inflation data due later in the day

By Krishna V Kurup

March 12 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose over 1 percent on Monday, ahead of inflation data due later in the day, following a rally in global markets after a U.S. jobs report assuaged fears around inflation and faster rate hikes.

India’s retail inflation is expected to ease to a four-month low in February on softening prices for vegetables and other perishable foods, but will probably stay above the central bank’s target, a Reuters poll showed.

Global shares rallied after U.S. data showed non-farm payrolls jumped from last month, but annual growth in average hourly earnings slowed after a spike in January, easing fears of inflation and speculation the Federal Reserve would project four rate hikes instead of the current three.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 1.3 percent higher, for a third session of gains.

The broader NSE index was up 0.92 percent at 10,321.25 as of 0613 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index rose 0.88 to 33,601.39.

“There is a little bit of positivity after Asian markets opened on a positive footing on stronger U.S. markets,” said Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit Financial Services. “Another point of view is that it (market) bounced off its 200-day moving average, which is attracting some bargain buying at the bottom. The first test of this critical level was seen last week. Also, markets are looking at firmer inflation numbers, especially in the backdrop of other central banks also taking a tighter stance on monetary policy. So, upside looks to be little restrained ahead of key macro numbers,” he said.

The S&P Nifty index, which has been on a downswing since the beginning of February, found support at its 200-day simple moving average last week. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) has bounced back from an oversold zone in the past week, which suggests a reversal in trend.

Financial stocks, except those of some public sector lenders gained. Housing Development Finance Corp rose 1.4 percent and HDFC Bank Ltd gained 0.7 percent, while state-run lenders such as State Bank of India fell 1.7 percent while Punjab National Bank dropped 3.14 percent.

Information technology stocks also gained, with Infosys Ltd advancing 2.1 percent.

Indian cigarette makers such as ITC Ltd rose after the GST Council left taxes levied on cigarettes intact at its meeting on Saturday.

Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Additional Reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy; Editing by Sunil Nair

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