Mumbai: Indian shares were trading 0.1% higher on Tuesday as gains triggered by firm global equities were capped by declines in export-focused outsourcers on concerns a stronger rupee could bite into their margins.
The Indian rupee rose to fresh near 19-month peaks backed by gains in the domestic shares and weakness in the dollar versus major currencies overseas.
By 11:08am, the 30-share BSE Sensex was trading up 0.12% at 17,732.78 points, with two-thirds of its components gaining. The 50-share NSE index was barely changed at 5,302.30 points.
The index had briefly slipped into the negative territory to touch a low of 17,703.67 points earlier on Tuesday.
Foreign funds have pumped around $3.9 billion in Indian equities so far this year, most of which arrived in March. The main index is up nearly 8% in the current month.
“There is still room left to rise as there is definitely an India story,” said R. Ganesh, director of Systematix Shares, a Mumbai-based brokerage.
“We (Indian stocks) have performed better than some of our peers and broader emerging markets. But, I would not say we are headed for a bull run from here,” he said adding that the recent rally had pushed up valuations.
Angel Securities said in a note on Monday that it expects the Sensex companies to register 27% compound annual growth rate in earnings over the next two years.
Infosys Technologies dropped 1.6%, while rivals Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro shed 1.1% and 0.8% respectively.
Energy giant Reliance Industries, which has the highest weight on the Sensex, led the gainers. The stock was up 0.4% at Rs1,098.40.
India’s top mobile operator Airtel was up 1.1% at Rs314.40. The company’s $9 billion expansion into Africa faced a potential new hurdle on Monday as the government of Gabon raised a regulatory objection to the deal.
Earlier on Monday a source had said that the deal over Bharti’s purchase of the African assets of Kuwait’s Zain would be signed in Amsterdam on Tuesday.
Non-ferrous metals producer Sterlite Industries rose 2.1% on expectations that copper prices will rise on improving demand.
Aluminium maker Hindalco and Tata Steel, world’s eighth-largest steel maker by output, climbed 0.7% and 0.4% respectively.
In the broader market, gainers were more than double the number of losers in a volume of 136 million shares.
Automakers Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra and Mahindra gained between 0.2 and 2.1% on expectations of robust sales in March.
Transportation firm IL&FS Transportation Networks debuted at Rs290 per share, a premium of 12.4% to the issue price of Rs258.
The stock pared some of the early gains and was trading at Rs286 a share.