Mumbai: Indian shares turned positive on Thursday afternoon on short-covering ahead of the expiry of monthly derivative contracts and as the traders remained optimistic about robust corporate quarterly earnings.
At 3:01pm, the 30-share BSE Index was up 0.5% at 16,802.55 points. It fell as much as 1.3% in early deals. The 50-share NSE Index was up 0.31% at 4,985.25.
Telecom firm Bharti Airtel rose 2.3% to Rs423 as South African officials met with India’s markets regulator and officials from the central bank and finance ministry over its proposed tie-up with MTN.
The deadline for the deal is 30 September, although it has previously been extended twice.
Infosys Technologies fell 4.1% to Rs2,267.90 on concerns of higher expenses after a report it plan to give pay rises and promotions next month, dealers said.
“Today, the global cues and derivatives expiry will keep the trade volatile. But, a lot also depends on how the European markets open,” said Amitabh Chakraborty, president of equities at Religare Capital.
“The likely good earnings are already factored in prices. So, positives from here are not going to surprise the market. We could see a correction in the near term,” added Chakraborty.
At 12:03pm, the 30-share BSE index was down 0.66% at 16,609.76 points, with 21 components declining. The market rose to 16-month highs on Tuesday.
Asian shares outside Japan weakened after US shares fell on concerns the US Federal Reserve may act earlier than expected to unwind some of its extraordinary stimulus measures.
The fall in the main Indian index moderated after data showed the annual inflation rate rose more than expected to 0.37% on 12 September.
Engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro was up 0.8% at Rs1,647.90, after it won a $415 million order to set up a gas-based power plant for GMR Energy.
In the broader market, 1,532 losers outweighed 1,005 gainers, in a high volume of 289 million shares.