February 23, 2018 / 6:45 AM / 4 months ago

Indian shares rise; pharma, financial stocks boost

* NSE index up 0.71 pct, BSE index 0.64 pct higher

* Both indexes set to end week slightly lower

* Federal Bank gains after stake buy approval

By Tanvi Mehta

Feb 23 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose on Friday, tracking broader Asia after comments from a Federal Reserve official eased worries about faster rate hikes in the United States and sparked a rebound in recently hit sectors such as drug makers.

Indian stock markets have been under pressure recently amid continued worries about the fallout from a $1.77 billion fraud that hit Punjab National Bank, and concerns that the central bank could soon move to raise interest rates to contain accelerating inflation.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 1 percent. U.S. benchmark 10-year note yields were last yielding 2.929 percent, after rising to a four-year high of 2.957 percent on Wednesday.

“U.S. bond yields have fallen and so sentiment is higher,” said Anita Gandhi, whole time director, Arihant Capital Markets.

“Price correction has happened to a large extent in pharma, so market is looking at some value buying.”

The broader NSE index was up 0.71 percent at 10,456.65 as of 0614 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.64 percent higher at 34,035.57.

Both indexes were poised to end the week marginally lower.

The Nifty Pharma index rose as much as 2.8 percent in its biggest intraday percentage gain since Feb. 8. It had declined about 8 percent since the start of the year, as of Thursday’s close.

Financials also gained, with HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank among the biggest contributors to the rise.

Federal Bank climbed as much as 5.2 percent after the bank on Thursday approved buying a stake in financial services company Equirus Capital. (Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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