A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, India, February 26, 2016. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/Files

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares ticked up nearly half a percent on Thursday, led by gains in HCL Technologies and Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T), as a bunch of robust quarterly earnings reports boosted investor sentiment.

The broader NSE index .NSEI was up 0.49% at 11,658.70 by 0356 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index .BSESN was stronger by 0.58% at 39,279.78.

IT services firm HCL Technologies Ltd (HCLT.NS) rose as much as 5.83% to its highest since May after the company posted a jump in quarterly profit.

Manufacturing-to-software conglomerate L&T (LART.NS) gained as much as 2.46% after it reported a rise in profit for the quarter.

On Wednesday, the government announced plans to merge loss-making state telecom providers Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL.NS), sending shares of the latter up over 4%.

The NSE Bank index rose as much as 0.79% and was on track for its fifth straight session of gains.

Meanwhile, JSW Steel Ltd (JSTL.NS) fell as much as 3.37% after the company revised its cash flow plan for the current year.

The Nifty Auto index .NIFTYAUTO was down 0.1%, and shares of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MRTI.NS) were flat ahead of reporting quarterly results.

Shares of Infosys Ltd (INFY.NS) slipped nearly 1% after the firm said that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Securities and Exchange Board of India had started a probe into the whistleblower complaints that were flagged earlier this week.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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