Indian shares erased most of their early gains on Monday, as a weakening rupee, which was moving towards its record low of 54.89 against the dollar, and the slashing of India's 2012 economic growth forecast to 6.3 percent from the earlier 6.9 percent by Morgan Stanley gave way to some late-session profit taking. Benchmark indexes gave up all of their early gains for the day before clawing back to end in the positive territory at the closing bell.
The benchmark 30-share Sensex ended the session up 30 points or 0.19 percent at 16,183, with 16 of its components advancing. The broader Nifty index rose by 15 points or 0.3 percent to 4,906, while the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indexes ended up 0.4 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Capital goods, realty, power and banking stocks led the gainers, while IT and FMCG stocks closed on a subdued note.
Shares of SBI, India's largest lender, rose 3.4 percent, extending Friday's 5 percent rally following its earnings surprise, while private sector rival ICICI Bank ended up 0.7 percent.
Power producer Tata Power climbed 4.5 percent on hopes for a tariff hike in Maharashtra. Carmaker Maruti Suzuki rallied 3 percent on reports that its seven-seater Ertiga has managed to bag about 32,000 bookings within a month of its launch.
BHEL gained 2.5 percent on bagging a contract from NTPC to supply equipment at Solapur Super Thermal Power Project in Maharashtra. Coal India added 2.4 percent on a PTI report that the company is exiting from International Coal Ventures, a special purpose consortium formed to acquire mines abroad.
Essar Oil rose 0.9 percent and Larsen & Toubro gained 2.4 percent after they signed a pact for supply of high quality bitumen. HDFC, DLF, Sun Phama, and Hindalco were among the other prominent gainers, adding 1-2 percent.
Reliance Capital soared almost 8 percent on short covering after the Anil Ambani group firm posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 329.32 crore in the fourth quarter versus a Rs.6.46-crore net loss in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, helped by a sharp fall in insurance claims and strong growth in commercial finance.
Other group stocks also saw significant activity, with Reliance Communication, Reliance Power and Reliance Infrastructure climbing 2-4 percent.
Himachal Futuristic Communications hit the 20 percent upper circuit limit on reports that Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries plans to roll out its 4G network in partnership with the company.
Shares of TV Today Network were also locked at the 20 percent upper circuit limit after Aditya Birla Group agreed to buy a 27.5 percent stake in Living Media India, the holding company which owns 57.46 percent of the TV Today, via its private investment arm. Other media stocks rose as well, with NDTV surging up 10 percent and Network 18 Media ending 1.2 percent higher.
Among those that fell, software services exporters like Wipro and Infosys fell around 2 percent each, diversified business conglomerate ITC fell 1.7 percent, copper producer Sterlite lost 1.2 percent and drugmaker Cipla shed a percent.
Elsewhere, other Asian markets ended mostly higher after G8 leaders said they want debt-stricken Greece to stay in the eurozone and emphasized growth as well as fiscal discipline to deal with the financial crisis.
European stocks also rebounded from 5-month closing lows hit last Friday, although underlying mood remained cautious ahead of a key European summit in Brussels this week.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com