Mumbai: Indian shares were trading up 2.4% on Friday, on track to post their 12th consecutive weekly gain for the first time in four years, with investors upbeat after better-than-expected economic data.
India’s economy grew a forecast-beating 5.8% in the March quarter from a year earlier, as a still strong services sector offset a decline in manufacturing.
“I think the GDP upgrade cycle has just started. We are past the eye of the storm,” said Rajeev Malik, economist at Macquarie Capital in Singapore.
Energy companies Reliance Industries and Oil and Natural Gas Corp led the gainers among blue-chip stocks after the oil minister said he would push for a freer price regime for fuel.
By 12:55 pm, the 30-share BSE index was up 349.63 points, or 2.45%, at 14,651.06, with 27 stocks advancing. The 50-share NSE index Nifty was up 2.82% at 4,459.60.
It is on course to post its best winning run since a 16-week rally in May-August 2005.
The index has risen more than three-quarters from a 2009 low in early March, and is up 52% this year after slumping 52% in 2008. The rebound has been powered by more than $5.5 billion ploughed in by foreign funds over the past two-and-half months.
“From a point where there was extreme pessimism, we have moved to a point where we are seeing extreme euphoria,” Sandip Sabharwal, chief executive of portfolio management services at Prabhudas Lilladher Pvt Ltd, said.
“The economy is definitely picking up as activity is improving, so it is not entirely unjustified,” he said.
Reliance Industries, which has the most weight in the main index, was up 3% at Rs2,286, while ONGC gained 6.1% to Rs1,200.
Larsen & Toubro rose 3.8% to Rs1,392.85, a day after the engineering conglomerate reported better-than-expected results and forecast robust orders.
ICICI Bank gained 1.2% to Rs738.45 on expectations of loan growth and reduced defaults.
Top telecoms firm Bharti Airtel was up 3.9% at Rs826.15, rising for a second day after three sessions of losses following news of its merger talks with South Africa’s MTN.
In the broader market, gainers led losers 5 to 1 on relatively heavy volume of 317.5 million shares.