Indian shares ended a volatile session slightly higher on Friday, with FMCG and IT stocks leading the gainers ahead of the extended holiday weekend. The BSE and NSE will remain closed on Monday to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
After witnessing a bout of volatility in the afternoon, the benchmark 30-share Sensex crept back into positive territory to end up 34 points or 0.19 percent at 17,691, with 16 of its components advancing.
Among the prominent gainers, Tata Motors rose 2.1 percent after the nation's largest automaker reported a 21 percent rise in its July global sales. Diversified business conglomerate ITC gained 1.4 percent on bargain hunting after falling sharply yesterday, hit by an adverse court ruling in Australia on cigarette products.
Infosys, Hindustan Unilever, Wipro, TCS, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki rose between half a percent and 1.6 percent. Market heavyweight Reliance Industries pared early gains to end on a flat note.
Hindalco Industries fell 2.5 percent, extending declines for a third consecutive session on weak Q1 results. Power generation stocks came under selling pressure after the CAG report on power tabled in Rajya Sabha today said the government has suffered a loss amounting to Rs. 1.86 lakh crore due to its 'flawed' policy on coal blocks allocation to private players. Lanco Infratech, GVK Power, JSW Energy and Adani Power lost 2-3 percent.
Reliance Power plunged 5.6 percent after the CAG report said the Anil Ambani-led firm got undue benefit of Rs. 29,033 crore from the government's decision on coal-block allocations. Shares of GMR Infrastructure fell over 3 percent. Tata Power Company retreated 3.7 percent after the company decided to raise up to Rs.1,500 crore through a non-convertible debentures issue.
The broader Nifty index closed up 3 points or 0.06 percent at 5,366, while the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indexes ended little changed.
Elsewhere, Asian markets ended mostly higher and European markets held onto most of their early gains, as encouraging signs about the U.S. housing market as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel's voice of support for the ECB action to resolve the debt crisis helped improve investor risk appetite. Speculation concerning Spain receiving its first tranche of the EU banking bailout also boosted sentiment.
by RTT Staff Writer
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