Mumbai: Indian shares extended gains to 2% on Friday, led by Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank, in line with Asian markets, which were up on hopes of a US stimulus to revive the world’s largest economy.
At 12:03pm, the 30-share BSE index was up 2.01% at 9,273.38 points with 28 components gaining. The 50-share NSE Index was up 2.02% at 2,836.30.
Bank stocks rose after India’s central bank on Thursday eased credit availability, extending forex swap facility for banks until the end of 2009/10 and raising interest rate ceiling on foreign currency export credit.
Stocks in Asia climbed as investors awaited a vote on a massive US stimulus package, which had also lifted Wall Street on Thursday.
“Global market cues have provided us with a reason to open strong today,” said Suraj Saraogi, managing director of Keynote Capitals.
The US Senate is debating a $920 billion plan but it could shrink before being passed.
Saraogi said shares were unlikely to pick up momentum in the near term as large investors such as companies or institutions would start pulling out cash from mutual funds to pay advance taxes due by mid-March.
Top lender State Bank of Inda was up 1.75% at Rs1,113, rival ICICI Bank gained 3.03% to Rs402.80 and HDFC Bank rose 1.5% to Rs897.25.
Energy giant Reliance Industries, which has the heaviest weight in the index, was up 2.4% at Rs1,317.50 after falling 1.6% the previous day.