Mumbai: Indian shares rose for the second successive day to close 0.4% higher on Thursday, tracking gains in global markets, with Reliance Industries and Oil & Natural Gas Corp leading the gainers.
Gains were capped as banks declined after India’s wholesale price index rose 7.31% in December from a year earlier, strengthening the case for the central bank to tighten policy later this month to temper inflation expectations.
Energy major Reliance Industries, which has the highest weight in the main index, rose 3% to Rs1,120.85, its best close since 12 June 2009, with investors awaiting more clarity over its plan to acquire bankrupt LyondellBasell.
“Reliance has been an underperformer all along. It is trying to catch up now,” said Gajendra Nagpal, CEO of Unicon Financial.
The stock has risen just 1.8% since end-September, while the main index gained 2.7%.
The 30-share BSE Index closed 0.43% or 75.07 points higher at 17,584.87, with half of its components advancing.
“There are no major concerns in the market. The bias is steady to positive, on the back of expectations of broadly good results and global recovery,” said Nilesh Doshi, president of equities at Techno Shares, a Mumbai-based brokerage firm.
Top lender State Bank of India dropped nearly 1%, while top private lender ICICI Bank shed 0.5%.
“...I expect the RBI to give a strong liquidity signal in the January monetary policy review, whereby it could take measures to mop-up surplus liquidity from the system,” Rupa Rege Nitsure, chief economist at Bank of Baroda said.
State-run explorer Oil & Natural Gas Corp rose 2.9% to Rs1,230.45.
“ONGC is helped by growing expectations of a fuel price hike,” said Unicon’s Nagpal.
A hike in fuel price would imply lower subsidy sharing burden for the upstream company, analysts said.
Software outsourcing firm Wipro rose as much as 5.1% to Rs752, its highest level since April 2000, after television channel ET NOW reported the company was likely to launch sponsored $1 billion ADR issue.
The stock closed 3.6% higher at Rs741.30.
In the broader market, gainers were nearly double the number of losers, in a volume of 625 million shares, the same as last week’s daily average volumes.
The 50-share NSE index climbed 0.5% to 5,259.90.