File picture: Alex Grimm

London - Emerging-market stocks headed for a fourth weekly gain as Indian shares rallied on optimism the new prime minister will take steps to spur growth.

The ruble jumped as Russia said it would work with the next Ukrainian president.

The S&P BSE Sensex Index climbed 1.3 percent to a record as State Bank of India soared after profit topped estimates.

China Overseas Land & Investment surged the most in two months in Hong Kong on speculation the government will ease curbs on home purchases.

The ruble strengthened for a fifth day.

Thai shares declined after the army staged its 12th coup in eight decades.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added less than 0.1 percent 1,041.57 at 1:44 p.m. in London, leaving it up 0.9 percent on the week.

India’s strongest electoral mandate in 30 years put prime minister-in-waiting Narendra Modi in a position to pass measures to bolster Asia’s third-biggest economy.

President Vladimir Putin, who said this week he was easing the way for Ukraine’s May 25 vote by pulling back Russian troops, pledged to work with the new leader even though the election won’t meet international standards.

India’s election result “exceeded most expectations and the market has been moving on the expectation that Mr. Modi will implement positive change,” Tony Hann, head of emerging markets at Blackfriars Asset Management in London, said by e-mail.

“We have seen an improvement in Russia as hopes rise that we have passed the worst in Ukraine.”


Indian Banks


The emerging-markets gauge has advanced in 2014 to 3.9 percent, compared with a rise of 1.9 percent for the MSCI World Index of developed-country equities.

A Bloomberg gauge tracking 20 developing-country currencies declined 0.1 percent, paring a weekly advance.

The premium investors demand to own emerging-market debt over US Treasuries widened one basis point to 281 basis points, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. indexes.

The measure tracking financial stocks in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 0.3 percent, the most among the 10 industry groups.

State Bank of India surged 9.6 percent to the highest level since April 2011.

Net income dropped 8 percent to 30.4 billion rupees ($520 million) for the three months to March, compared with a 28 billion-rupee average estimate from 34 analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

Stock indexes in Poland and the Czech Republic gained 0.4 percent, while the Micex Index added 0.2 percent in Moscow.

Pipemaker OAO TMK, which may benefit from OAO Gazprom’s $400 billion deal to supply gas to China, increased 3.6 percent.


Ukraine Elections


The ruble climbed 0.5 percent against the dollar, the biggest gain among 24 developing-country peers monitored by Bloomberg.

Local-currency government bonds due in February 2027 gained, sending the yield down four basis points to 8.81 percent and bringing this week’s decline to 22 basis points.

“Unless something dramatic happens in Ukraine over the weekend, the Russian market might continue the growth,” Kirill Yankovskiy, director for equity sales at UralSib Capital, said in e-mailed comments.

The “rising trend” on the market was “triggered by the de-escalation of the Ukraine situation and the extreme cheapness of Russian stocks,” he said.


Thai Coup


The Micex is trading at 5.2 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with a multiple of 10.8 for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index and 14.8 for the MSCI World.

Thailand’s bonds advanced and stocks declined as the military seized power following six months of political unrest.

The baht rose to within 0.2 percent of its pre-coup level before erasing gains.

Tourism-related shares slid.

Airports of Thailand Pcl lost 2.4 percent in Bangkok.

While Mark Mobius, Templeton Emerging Markets Group’s executive chairman, said the coup is “likely overall positive as it creates a more stable environment,” UBS Wealth Management’s Yonghao Pu said he is “still cautious” on the baht and Thai equities.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.1 percent, extending a 1.7 percent weekly advance.

China Overseas rallied 5.5 percent.

The China Securities Journal said the government will remove restrictions on home purchases depending on market conditions.

Twelve of 18 economists say China has some national oversupply of housing, with seven saying the market is in a bubble state countrywide, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

Indonesia’s rupiah lost 0.7 percent, its biggest weekly drop this year. - Bloomberg News