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Indian Shares Modestly Higher In Early Trade

Indian shares edged higher in early trading on Monday, with banks and automakers leading the gainers. Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and SBI are up between 0.5 percent and 1 percent as the Reserve Bank of India's move last week to purchase bonds soothed liquidity worries.

In the auto space, Tata Motors is gaining 1.1 percent on reporting a 20 percent rise in its March vehicle sales. Mahindra & Mahindra is up 1.2 percent after releasing vehicle sales numbers for March. DLF, Larsen & Toubro, BHEL, NTPC, Gail India and Tata Power are rising 1-2 percent.

The benchmark 30-share Sensex is currently at 17,454, up 50 points or 0.29 percent from its previous close, while the broader Nifty index is up 13 points or 0.25 percent at 5,309. Second-line stocks are outperforming, with the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indexes rising more than a percent each.

Elsewhere across Asia, key benchmarks in Australia, Japan and South Korea are up between 0.2 percent and 0.6 percent, as encouraging Chinese manufacturing data eased fears of a hard landing in the world's second largest economy. The Chinese market is closed for a public holiday.

Back home, Punjab National Bank is up 1.4 percent as the state-owned bank revised interest rates on FCNR (B) deposits and said it has completed a preferential share issue to the government.

Central Bank of India is gaining 1.6 percent after its board approved a preferential share issue to the government and state-run insurer LIC. Bank of India is up nearly 2 percent after issuing equity shares to LIC on a preferential basis.

Firstsource Solutions is climbing 6 percent on announcing management changes. Titan Industries is rallying 5.2 percent on reports that it has received government approval to import gold directly from overseas market.

Reliance Power is rallying 3.3 percent as it commissioned a 40-MW solar photovoltaic project in Rajasthan to supply electricity to Reliance Infrastructure. Godrej Properties is rising half a percent after the realty firm sold a 49 percent stake in its subsidiary Godrej Landmark Redevelopers Private to ASK Property Investment Advisors.

Aviation stocks are subdued after state-run oil retailers hiked jet fuel prices by 3 percent. Kingfisher is tumbling 3.6 percent and Jet Airways is down marginally. Coal India is losing 1.5 percent after U.K.-based minority stakeholder, The Children Investment Fund, said it would launch legal action against the company for alleged breach of corporate governance practices.

Kajaria Ceramics is edging down 0.2 percent as it agreed to buy a majority stake in Vennar Ceramics . Ranbaxy Laboratories is declining 1.3 percent on receiving regulatory approval to market its generic RAN-Rosuvastatin tablets in the Canadian market.

by RTT Staff Writer

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