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Indian Shares Edge Higher For Third Day

Indian shares rose for a third consecutive session on Wednesday, as positive global cues following a successful Spanish bond auction boosted investor sentiment.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund raised its 2012 global growth forecast to 3.5 percent from 3.3 percent, citing improved activity in the United States and receding worries about Europe's sovereign debt crisis.

Struck in a narrow range, the benchmark 30-share Sensex is currently up 143 points or 0.83 percent at 17,501, while the broader Nifty index is adding 43 points or 0.82 percent. HDFC Bank is up 1.2 percent as the private sector lender unveils its quarterly results today. Rival ICICI Bank is gaining 1.2 percent and state-run lender SBI is moving up 1.3 percent.

Auto shares such as Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto are climbing 2-4 percent, metal stocks like Tata Steel, Sterlite and Hindalco are up 1-2 percent, drug maker Sun Pharma is gaining 2.3 percent and state-run oil explorer ONGC is up 1.4 percent.

Second-line stocks are also following suit, with the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indexes rising more than a percent each. The market breadth is extremely positive, with gainers outpacing decliners in the ratio of about 4:1 on the BSE.

McDowell Holdings is locked at the 5 percent upper circuit limit after its board approved the conversion of 10 percent optionally convertible debentures into equity shares. Viceroy Hotels also hit the 5 percent upper circuit limit after data revealed Rakesh Jhunjhunwala has increased his stake in the company to 15.22 percent from 11.79 percent.

Lanco Infratech is rising 1.1 percent after Lanco Solar, a fully-owned subsidiary of the company, announced the commissioning of 56-MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic power plants in Gujarat.

HCL Technologies is rallying 4.7 percent on reporting a better-than-expected 28 percent rise in third-quarter net profit. TCS is rising 1.3 percent and Wipro is adding 1.7 percent, while Infosys is down 0.7 percent

Godrej Properties is down half a percent after it entered into an agreement to develop a luxury residential project in Kolkata.

Muthoot Finance is losing 1.2 percent and Manappuram Finance is declining 1.9 percent as the Reserve Bank of India directed banks to reduce their exposure to non-banking finance companies providing gold loans to 7.5 percent of their capital funds from the existing 10 percent.

Indian shares rallied on Tuesday, with benchmark indexes Sensex and the Nifty climbing around 1.2 percent each to their highest close in nearly two weeks, after the Reserve Bank of India cut interest rates for the first time in three years. The central bank slashed its repo rate by an unexpected sharp 50 basis points to ease the liquidity crunch in the money markets and support faltering economic growth. Economists were expecting a quarter point reduction.

by RTT Staff Writer

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