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MARKET EYE-India's BSE index above 19,000 on reform hopes

* The BSE index

gains 1 percent to above 19,000 points for the first time since July 8, 2011 on hopes for additional fiscal and economic reforms. * The NSE index

also advances 1 percent. * The cabinet is set to approve bills that would raise the cap on foreign direct investment in insurance firms and open the pension sector to foreign investors, a government minister told reporters on Wednesday.

* Financial companies with insurance units surge: Max India

jumps 3.3 percent, hitting earlier its highest since December 2009, while Bajaj Finserve

adds 2.5 percent having earlier hit a record high at 953.90 rupees. * Oil marketing companies gain after Brent futures

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fall: Hindustan Petroleum Corp

rises 2.6 percent. * Blue chip lead gains: ICICI Bank rises 2.6 percent, Reliance Industries gains 1.1 percent.

(manoj.dharra@thomsonreuters.com)