Mumbai: Indian shares extended gains into a fourth consecutive session on Wednesday, edging up 0.4% led by Reliance Industries, but there were signs of resistance.
Trading was choppy through the day as some investors took profit after the market had more than doubled from its March low on Tuesday.
“Valuations are now beginning to look stretched,” said V.P. Chaturvedi, managing director of Tata Asset Management Co, adding that a shortfall in monsoon rains and negative news flow from overseas were some of the near-term concerns.
The 30-share BSE index closed up 0.37%, or 59.88 points, at 16,183.55, with only 13 stocks gaining, after falling as much as 0.5% in early trade.
It was the highest close in 15 months and took gains to 68% so far this year. It had hit a 2009 low of 8,047.17 in early March.
“September quarter results should provide cues. If those numbers turn out to be good, the positive momentum would continue,” Chaturvedi said.
Energy explorer Reliance firmed 4.5% to Rs2,169.35 after underperforming the market recently. The stock, which has the most weight in the index, has risen 94% from its March low while the benchmark has more than doubled.
Metal stocks Hindalco Industries and Sterlite Industries climbed 4.1% and 1% respectively after Goldman Sachs raised its copper price forecast for end-2010 by more than 30% on evidence of stronger-than-expected recovery in global industrial activity.
State-run refiners, who are forced to sell fuel at government-set low prices, dropped as oil steadied above $71 a barrel on Wednesday after jumping 4.5% a day earlier.
Hindustan Petroleum Corp, Indian Oil Corp, and Bharat Petroleum Corp closed 3% to 4.7% lower.
Telecoms firm Bharti Airtel, which is in merger talks with South Africa’s MTN, fell 3.4% to Rs409.85 and property developer DLF shed 3.5% to Rs420.4.
“I think it’s logical that profit sales will come in at this level after we saw a decent rise in the last few days,” said R.K. Gupta, managing director of Taurus Mutual Fund.
In the broader market, 1,542 losers led 1,289 gainers on relatively moderate volume of 499 million shares.
The 50-share NSE index closed 0.19% higher at 4,814.25.
A late revival in monsoon rains, came as a respite but the overall monsoon rains are likely to be lower.
Late end-season rains will help narrow India’s total monsoon rainfall deficit to 15-18 percent, boosting depleted reservoirs and helping winter crops, the head of the Indian weather office told Reuters on Tuesday.