Mumbai: Indian shares rose 1.3% on Thursday as encouraging US home sales data raised hopes for a global recovery and lifted investor appetite for risker assets worldwide.
Energy major Reliance Industries, engineering and construction firm Larsen and Toubro and No. 2 software-services firm Infosys Technologies led the main index higher.
No. 2 telecoms firm Reliance Communications rose 2.3% to Rs158.20, after the Economic Times newspaper said the Anil Ambani-controlled firm is considering a merger with South Africa’s MTN or roping in a strategic foreign investor to raise funds.
Abu Dhabi’s Etisalat said on Wednesday it was looking to buy a stake in an Indian mobile operator, but did not disclose any names. A newspaper had reported it was in talks with cash-hungry Reliance Communications for a $3.8 billion deal.
By 9:53am, the 30-share BSE index was up 1.3% at 16,964.78 points, with all stocks advancing, after rising as much as 1.5% earlier. The 50-share NSE index was up 1.5% at 5,093.80.
The benchmark is down 4% this year, having posted its first monthly decline since January in May as investors pared their exposure to risky assets in the wake of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.
“Though we cannot say that the entire scenario has changed until the euro zone debt crisis has been resolved, funds which had earlier booked profits are now re-entering the market as they think the prices are cheap,” Alex Mathews, head of research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, said.
“They are being opportunistic and may continue to buy into the market in the short term,” he said.
On Wednesday, surprisingly strong US housing data for April drove optimism about the world’s largest economy, boosted stocks overseas and drove up oil prices. The stock rally also eased concerns that Europe’s debt woes could restrain a fragile economic recovery.
On Thursday, Reliance Industries, India’s largest-listed firm with the most weight in the main index, rose 1.2% to Rs1,024.30.
Larsen and Toubro gained 1.5% to Rs1,653.65, while Infosys Technologies climbed 0.9% to Rs2,669.05.
In the broader market, gainers led losers by more than 4 to 1 on moderate volume of 69.3 million shares.
Other Asian shares were also higher, with Japan’s Nikkei up 3%, while MSCI’s measure of other Asian markets rose 2.8%.