* NSE index up 0.72 pct, BSE index 0.63 pct higher
* Nifty Auto index up 1.4 pct
* L&T, Eicher Motors up on bargain-hunting
By Jessica Kuruthukulangara
Sept 18 (Reuters) - India’s NSE index hit an all-time high on Monday, joining a rally in Asian shares, with banks, diversified conglomerates and automobile firms leading the gains.
Asian shares hit decade highs as investors regained confidence after the weekend passed with no new provocation by North Korea.
“There seems to be a global rally where liquidity is driving all markets. Markets have become very overbought,” said Sanjiv Bhasin, executive vice president of markets and corporate affairs at IIFL.
Trade deficit touched 2.4 percent of gross domestic product and inflation is rising, which means the Reserve Bank of India may not cut rates at its next meeting, he added.
Data released late on Friday showed India’s trade deficit widened to $11.64 billion in August from a month ago.
The broader NSE index was up 0.72 percent at 10,157.90 as of 0555 GMT, with almost all sectors in the green.
Earlier in the session, it gained as much as 0.81 percent to a record high of 10,167.15. The benchmark BSE index was 0.63 percent higher at 32,474.86.
The Nifty auto index gained as much as 1.4 percent, with Tata Motors Ltd rising as much as 2.8 percent and Bajaj Auto Ltd climbing up to 3.5 percent.
“There is a feel-good factor as there could be more spending because of the ongoing festival season,” Bhasin said.
Larsen and Toubro Ltd rose as much as 2.7 percent and Eicher Motors Ltd gained up to 1.9 percent on bargain-hunting after three consecutive sessions of decline.
Bharti Infratel Ltd climbed as much as 3.7 percent, making it the top percentage gainer on the NSE index.
Bharti Infra is dependent on annuity income from cellular towers, which have been in a fine space after Bharti Airtel reduced its stake in the company, according to Bhasin.
The NSE bank index rose as much as 1 percent, with top gainer IndusInd Bank Ltd up as much as 2.5 percent.
Electronics manufacturer Dixon Technologies (India) Ltd surged as much as 70 percent on its trading debut, while Bharat Road Network Ltd rose as much as 6.8 percent on its first day of trading. (Reporting by Jessica Kuruthukulangara in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)