Mumbai: Shares recovered early losses and closed up 0.1% in a volatile session on Thursday, when global cues dominated, on hopes Athens might ditch its referendum plans.
In Athens, Greece’s powerful finance minister broke ranks with his prime minister, rejecting a proposed referendum on staying in the euro, hours after they received an ultimatum from France and Germany to make up their minds.
“There is a sentimental revival after the finance minister opposed the referendum talks. There is a belief now that the European crisis will be taken care of in any which way,” said Arun Kejriwal, strategist at research firm KRIS.
“The (Greek) prime minister has been weakened by this kind of opposition from within his government,” he added.
The main 30-share BSE index , which snapped a three-day fall, ended 17.08 points higher at 17,481.93, with 17 of its components falling in choppy trade. It had fallen over 1% during the day.
The index has so far shed 15% since the start of the year.
“Uncertainties will not go away with this and the way the markets will react going forward will entirely depend on the way the euro zone situation plays out,” said Neeraj Dewan, director of Quantum Securities.
Index heavyweight Reliance Industries lead the gains, while technology stocks dragged on worries that escalating debt problems in Europe, their second-biggest market, may prompt clients to cut costs.
India’s No. 1 software services exporter Tata Consultancy Services ended 0.17% lower, while rivals Infosys Technologies and Wipro ended down 1.14% and 0.9%, respectively.
The euro zone debt crisis is a worry for the sector that has been looking to increase its sales to the region to hedge against their excessive exposure to the United States.
In the September-quarter, TCS posted a slightly lower-than-expected rise in quarterly profit, while No. 2 Infosys met street forecasts in its earnings.
Lenders fell on worries over eroding asset quality following a series of interest rate increases which have hit corporate earnings and slowed growth in Asia’s third-largest economy.
Private lenders HDFC Bank ended down 0.26%, while ICICI Bank fell 0.79%. Top state-run lender State Bank of India bucked the trend and traded 1.33% up.
India’s central bank raised interest rates last month for the 13th and possibly final time in a tightening cycle that began in early 2010, on expectations that persistently high inflation will finally begin to ease starting in December.
However, data on Thursday showed that the food price index rose 12.21%, its highest in nine months.
India’s top steelmaker Steel Authority of India closed 3.2% lower after it reported net profit for the quarter ended September of Rs 495 crore ($100.6 million), less than half its profit for the same period a year ago, and lagging market estimates of 8.56 billion rupees.
Hindustan Unilever fell 2% on profit-booking after the stock rose 11% since the start of the week. The company on Monday posted a forecast beating 22% jump in quarterly net profit.
Shares of real estate firm DB Realty dived 2.1% after a special court rejected the bail plea of one of its founders, Shahid Usman Balwa, and former executives Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case, dealers said.
The 50-share NSE index rose 0.14% at 5,265.75 points. In the broader market, losers were inches ahead of gainers in the ratio of 1.06:1 on total volume of about 543.9 million shares.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.48%, while S&P 500 futures traded in Asia gained 0.67%.
Consumer electronics goods maker Whirlpool of India fell 6.7% after its September-quarter net profit fell 53% to 143.5 million rupees.
Mobile content provider OnMobile Global rose 13.53% after its September-quarter net profit more than doubled to Rs 477.2 million.
Hindustan Motors fell 6.6% after the cars and auto parts manufacturer posted a net loss in the July-September quarter.