* NSE index up 1.43%, BSE index 1.52% higher
* HDFC, Reliance ~2% higher
By Arnab Paul
May 23 (Reuters) - Indian shares surged to record highs on Thursday morning, as early trends showed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was way ahead of its main opposition United Progressive Alliance (UPA), as vote-counting began in the world’s largest democracy.
Investor sentiment has been buoyant since exit polls were announced on Sunday, with both the NSE index and the BSE index gaining 3.7% each the next session, a level last seen in 2014.
“We absolutely believe Nifty will cross 12,000 if NDA manages to secure a majority,” said Amit Gupta, chief executive of brokerage firm TradingBells.
“However if this doesn’t happen and there is a hung parliament, or UPA comes into power, we can expect to see a huge correction, downside movement up to 10,450.”
The broader NSE index was up 1.43% at 11,906.15 as of 0350 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 1.52% higher at 39,706.36.
The NSE index rose 64.8% during Modi’s first term till Wednesday’s close while the BSE index gained 63.6% during the same period.
IndusInd Bank was the top percentage gainer on the NSE index, rising 5%, while State Bank of India Ltd climbed 3.2% higher.
Index heavyweights Reliance Industries Ltd was 2% higher while Housing Development Finance Corp Ltd climbed 2.5%.
Only one stock was trading lower on the NSE index.
Reporting By Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich