Mumbai: Indian shares were up 0.2% on Thursday, taking cues from a small rise in their Asian peers, with financials leading the charge.
Dealers expected trade to be volatile later in the day as monthly derivatives contracts expire on the National Stock Exchange.
Lenders gained on optimism over loan demand outlook in a growing economy.
By 10:35am, the 30-share BSE Index was trading up 0.21% at 18,217.25 points, with 18 of its components gaining. The 50-share NSE index was up 0.2% at 5,471.20.
“We are just following global cues. Domestically, there is nothing wrong. With the liquidity flow in the market, a sharp correction for the Indian market does not seem likely,” said Neeraj Dewan, director of Quantum Securities.
The benchmark index is up 4.3% in 2010, helped by foreign fund inflow of $12.7 billion.
The index is the only positive performer year to date amongst its peers in the BRIC region which are down so far in 2010.
Elsewhere in Asia, the MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan was up 0.6% while Japan’s Nikkei firmed 0.3%.
Top lender State Bank of India was up 0.7% while leading private lenders ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank climbed 0.2% and 0.9% respectively.
Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp firmed 0.4%.
Top engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro rose 0.5% after the lower house of parliament approved of a landmark bill to open up the country’s $150 billion nuclear power market.
Explorer Cairn India extended its slide and was down 0.9% after a senior oil ministry source told Reuters state-run energy firms Oil and Natural Gas Corp, GAIL India and Oil India will not counter UK miner Vedanta Resources’ bid for a stake in the firm. ONGC was trading 0.7% higher.
In the broader market, gainers led losers in a ratio of 1.4:1 in a volume of 105 million shares.
Mahindra & Mahindra was up 0.5% at Rs618.50 after its president said late on Wednesday the utility vehicle maker expected to complete its acquisition of Korean automaker Ssangyong Motor in four months and would operate it as a separate unit.
Nestle India rose 1.1% to Rs3,000 as UBS upgraded the stock to “buy” from “sell” and raised the price target to Rs3,500 from Rs2,400 earlier.