Indian shares rose modestly on Wednesday, mirroring positive global cues on hopes of fresh stimulus measures ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meet later today. Continued hopes of a policy action on the fiscal front after the presidential elections also kept investors in a good mood.
Other Asian markets closed mostly higher on Fed stimulus hopes, while European stocks fluctuated following the previous session's really, limiting further upside for the markets.
After trading in a tight range, the benchmark BSE Sensex ended the session up 37 points or 0.22 percent at 16,897, with 18 of its components advancing. Sterlite Industries, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Tata Motors, Jindal Steel and ONGC led the gainers, climbing 2-3 percent.
The broader Nifty index rose by 17 points or 0.33 percent to 5,121, while the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indexes gained about 0.8 percent each.
The Federal Reserve concludes a two-day policy meeting later in the global day, with expectations running high that the central bank will extend its bond-buying program called 'Operation Twist'.
With regard to speculation concerning a third round of quantitative easing, the split in views of analysts is fairly wide as Greece now seems likely to remain in the 17-nation currency bloc. While the U.S. economic outlook remains still uncertain, there are doubts over whether Fed officials will lean toward further monetary easing.
State-run oil firms rose for a second consecutive session on hopes the government will speed up stalled policy decisions, including an impending diesel price hike. ONGC rose 1.9 percent, Oil India edged up 0.6 percent and Gail India added 0.9 percent. Oil marketing companies BPCL, HPCL and IOC rose between 0.6 percent and 1.8 percent.
Cement companies soared, erasing early losses, despite reports that the Competition Commission of India may rule against the industry over allegations of price fixing. Ambuja Cements rose 2.8 percent, ACC rallied 3.5 percent and India Cements jumped 4.6 percent.
Aviation companies soared on the buzz that the government may consider lowering jet fuel taxes. SpiceJet, Jet Airways and Kingfisher climbed 3.-6 percent. Axis Bank edged up 0.2 percent, SBI gained 0.7 percent and ICICI Bank rose 0.8 percent despite Fitch Ratings cutting their rating outlook to 'negative' from 'stable'.
Software services provider HCL Technologies rallied 3 percent on reports that it has bagged a multi-million dollar contract from Walt Disney. Also, the company issued a clarification saying that Vineet Nayar would continue to be the vice chairman and CEO of the company.
Ranbaxy Laboratories rose 0.8 percent in the wake of announcement that Japanese pharma major Daiichi Sankyo would begin marketing products of Ranbaxy in Venezuela under their hybrid business model. Educomp Solutions jumped 11.3 percent on news that it has tied up $155 million worth funds to pay off its existing overseas borrowings.
Coal India fell 1.5 percent after the government allocated 116 mines to the company to boost coal production in the country. DLF lost 1.4 percent after Citi downgraded the stock to 'neutral' and cut price target.
by RTT Staff Writer
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