Indian shares drift higher; Bharti Airtel climbs 3%

Indian shares advanced on Monday, led by telecom major Bharti Airtel.

Traders walks infront of an electronic board in Mumbai, India. Reuters

Indian shares advanced on Monday, led by telecom major Bharti Airtel, with Japanese advancing to two-decade high as an election win for Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc paved way for a continuation of loose monetary policy.

Japan's Nikkei raced up 1 percent to its highest since 1996 after Prime Minister Abe looked to have easily won in national elections over the weekend.

Investors assumed the victory would allow the Bank of Japan to continue with massive monetary easing that depresses bond yields and the yen, even as the U.S. Federal Reserve seems determined to hike rates again in December, Reuters reported.

At 0550 GMT, the S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.24 percent at 32,466 while the broader NSE Nifty rose 0.30 percent to 10,177.

Among the top Sensex gainers: Bharti Airtel climbed 3 percent, ICICI Bank added 2 percent, Hero Motocorp gained 1.5 percent while Coal India advanced 1.4 percent.

Idea Cellular gained as much as 5 percent its highest in last three months after the telecom commission offered a welcome relief to debt-laden telecom firms by giving them six more years to pay for spectrum purchases.

Tata Teleservices Maharashtra gained as much as 5 percent after the company's board approved raising of additional funds.

UltraTech Cement Ltd added as much as 2.3 percent after multiple price target increases by various brokerages.

Market breadth was in the favour of gainers, with about 2 stocks advancing to every 1 stock that declined.