Mumbai: Shares rode on brokerage upgrades and climbed 0.4% on Wednesday, but subdued Asian markets and Korean worries kept investors tentative.
Energy major Reliance Industries, which has the highest weighting on the main index, rallied 1.3% after
HSBC Securities raised the stock to neutral from underweight, saying it saw limited downside in the near term.
Bharti Airtel rose 1.8% to 335 rupees after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to buy from neutral and raised its target price on the top mobile phone operator to Rs 430.
Tata Steel firmed 1.3% after CLSA lifted the steelmaker to outperform from underperform, saying Asian steel prices and the company’s India margins can sustain at current levels through fiscal year 2012.
“Brokerage upgrades are saving the day. But the gains are capped as investors have turned cautious,” said Ambareesh Baliga, vice-president of Karvy Stock Broking.
At 10:48am, the 30-share BSE index was up 0.38% at 19,767.17 points, with 22 of its components advancing. It had slipped into the negative earlier. The 50-share NSE index .NSEI was up 0.4% at 5,957.80.
The benchmark is up more than 13% year-to-date, driven by net foreign portfolio investment of nearly $30 billion.
However, the investments were not consistent in the last few sessions as Irish debt worries and the Korea tensions curbed risk appetite.
Power utility JSW Energy was up 0.8% after it agreed to buy Canadian coal miner CIC Energy Corp for $414.5 million after two months of exclusive talks.
In the broader market, gainers outnumbered losers in a ratio of 2.5:1 on volume of 88 million shares.
Elsewhere, the MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan was barely changed, while Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.5%.
Metal producers Hindalco Industries and Sterlite Industries gained 1.8% and 0.9% respectively, as base metal prices rose in London and Shanghai.
Aegis Logistics rose 2.5% to Rs 359 after a top official said the company, which stores and distributes oil, gas and chemicals, plans to spend as much as Rs 2000crore over the next 5-7 years to set up new port projects.