Mumbai: Shares nudged 0.2% up in choppy Wednesday trade, rebounding from previous session’s losses, but gains were capped as unrest in Libya kept Asian markets in check.
Reliance industries, which led the gains, was up 0.9% after the energy giant said late Tuesday its partner Canada’s Niko Resources can raise its stake to 13% from 10% in the key gas producing KG D6 block, off India’s east coast.
By 10:22am, the 30-share BSE index was trading up 0.29% at 18,350.09 points, having turned briefly negative earlier, with 18 of its components gaining. The 50-share NSE index was up 0.3% at 5,487 points. It had shed 0.8% in the previous session.
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“Market is toying with the idea of buying on decline, but people are not too sure given the event risks. There are too many event risks until the middle of March,” said Shankar Char, vice-president and head of sales trading at ICICI Securities.
“The key ones being happenings in Libya, railway budget, federal budget and central bank policy (review) in March.”
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will present the federal budget in parliament on 28 February.
Char said the market had corrected enough to form a good support base.
The benchmark index is down 10.5% so far in 2011, as foreign funds dumped around $1.6 billion of Indian shares in the period.
In the broader market, gainers were twice the number of losers in a volume of 63 million shares.
Shares in Anil Ambani-led companies rose on short-covering, dealers said.
Reliance Infrastructure was up 8.2% while Reliance Capital firmed 3.6%. Reliance Communications and Reliance Power gained 1.5% and 1.3% respectively.
Metal producers rebounded, with the sector index gaining 0.4%, having declined 1.2% on Tuesday.
Non-ferrous metals producer Sterlite Industries and aluminium producer Hindalco were up 3% and 1.1% respectively.
Tata Steel, the world’s seventh-largest maker of the alloy firmed 0.2%. Its unit Tata Steel Europe said it expects input costs rising by 70-80 pounds per tonne on higher raw material prices but will pass all of these on to customers from 1 April.
The MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan was down 0.4%, while Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.8%.
MindTree Ltd rose 5.3% to Rs 426.45 after the mid-sized IT services firm said it has won two orders worth more than $70 million.
At 9:19am, the 30-share BSE index was down 0.22% at 18,256.04 points, with 16 components declining. It had briefly turned positive.
The 50-share NSE index was down 0.2% at 5,458.95.