Mumbai: Indian shares extended their rise to more than 4% on Friday afternoon, as investor confidence was bolstered by a jump in other Asian markets following positive news from the United States.
By 1:36pm, the 30-share BSE index was up 4.04% at 8,681.20 points, with 29 stocks advancing. The 50-share NSE index was up 3.1% at 2,697.35.
Energy giant Reliance Industries, which has the biggest weighting in the main index, and financials such as ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank led the gains.
The benchmark, which rose 2.25% on Thursday, was on track to post its best weekly rise in three weeks. “There seems to be some kind of calm on Wall Street, and that is helping other international markets including India,” Jigar Shah, senior vice president at KIM ENG Securities, said.
Reliance rose more than 3% to Rs1,238.85, while ICICI gained 7.7% to Rs306.
Traders said it was too early to call this a turnaround as the global economic outlook remained uncertain and a sniff of negative news could send markets down again.
Among the laggards were top telecoms firm Bharti Airtel, which was down 0.15% at Rs549.50. The stock had fallen 6.4% on Thursday after its chief executive sold his holding in the firm.
Fraud-tainted Satyam Computer was down 1.5% at Rs46.50, a day after at least three Indian companies registered their interest to bid for a majority stake.
In the broader section, gainers led losers in the ratio of 2:1 on light volume of 107.6 million shares.
US stocks posted their best three-day run since the end of November on Thursday, after a rating cut on General Electric was less severe than expected, while retail sales data showed some stabilization in consumer spending.
Sentiment was further boosted after Bank of America Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis said the largest US bank was profitable in January and February, echoing statements by Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase executives earlier in the week.
Markets in Asia rode on the improved sentiment on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei was up 4.9%, while MSCI’s measure of other Asian markets was up 3.1%.