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Indian Shares Higher Ahead Of Union Budget

Indian shares are edging higher on Thursday, helped by firm global cues and optimism ahead of Union Budget to be presented by Finance Minister P Chidambaram at 11 am.

Asian stocks are rising across the board, with Japan's Nikkei index rallying over 2 percent after Japan's government nominated Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda, an advocate of aggressive monetary easing, to be the next Bank of Japan governor.

Benchmark indexes in Australia, China, Hong Kong and South Korea are up between 0.6 percent and 1.2 percent, with sentiment boosted by a better-than-expected Italian debt auction and positive signals from the U.S. housing market.

Closer home, the benchmark BSE Sensex is currently up 95 points or 0.5 percent at 19,248, with 25 of its components advancing. The broader Nifty index is at 5,824, up 27 points or 0.46 percent from its previous close.

Among the prominent gainers in the Nifty pack, Coal India is rising 2.1 percent on reports it is bidding for acquiring mines abroad. Wipro, Tata Motors, ONGC and Larsen & Toubro are up 1-2 percent.

Jet Airways is climbing 5.5 percent after UAE flag carrier Etihad bought Jet's three flight slots at London's busy Heathrow airport for $70 million. CORE Education is rallying 8 percent on bargain hunting after plunging 80 percent in the past three sessions on margin calls.

Bosch and Castrol India are gaining about 0.2 percent each after announcing Q4 results. Network18 is gaining 0.3 percent as it entered into an agreement to divest its local search businesses - Infomedia Yellow Pages and AskMe.

Strides Arcolab is plunging 8.9 percent after generic drug maker Mylan Inc entered into a definitive agreement to buy the injectable drugs unit of Strides Arcolab for $1.6 billion. Steel Strips Wheels is moving down 0.9 percent despite winning an order from Peugeot Citroen of France for supplying 2.20 lakh wheels over five years.

Indian shares rose notably on Wednesday, helped by short-covering in heavyweight stocks after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signaled the Fed will stick to its easy monetary policy for a long time and the pre-Budget Economic Survey projected an optimistic 6.1 to 6.7 percent growth for the next fiscal, saying the "downturn is more or less over".

The benchmark BSE Sensex rebounded from a three-month low to end the session up 137 points or 0.72 percent at 19,152, while the broader Nifty index rose by 36 points or 0.62 percent to 5,797.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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