Mumbai: Shares closed 0.9% higher on Monday, helped by firm world equities, but trading remained choppy as ongoing corruption probes kept investor sentiment wary.
Reliance Communications gained nearly 2% after it announced the launch of its third-generation (3G) mobile services in four cities. The second-largest mobile operator said it would cover all its 13 zones by next March.
Also See | Choppy trading (Graphic)
The 30-share BSE Index closed 0.94% or 812.89 points higher at 19,691.78, with 25 of its components gaining. The 50-share NSE Nifty closed 0.9% higher at 5,907.65 points.
It swung widely on the day and fell as low as nearly 1% briefly.
“Global markets are doing good. That has helped the sentiment and we are in the positive after falling briefly,” said Himanshu Varia, head of institutional sales at brokerage Asit C. Mehta.
Trade volume was low with only 287 million shares traded on the BSE, while gainers outpaced losers in the ratio of 2.3:1.
The benchmark has declined 6.7% since hitting a near record high in early November following a widening probe into sale of telecom licences and radio waves cheaply, that a government auditor said cost the authorities about $39 billion in lost revenue.
A bribes-for-loans scandal has also weighed on sentiment.
Data from Nomura showed foreign funds sold only Indian shares of the seven Asian equities markets in the week to 10 December.
While the corruption inquiry has temporarily dented the market sentiment, it has not tarnished India’s image as a lucrative investment destination, dealers said.
Mark Mobius, fund manager at Templeton Asset Management told Reuters Insider India’s growth potential was higher than that of its rival China.
Bombay Stock Exchange is up 12.8% so far in 2010, driven by foreign fund investment of $28.7 billion. China’s Shanghai Composite Index is down 10.8% so far this year.
Energy giant Reliance Industries, which has been a laggard this year with a 4.4% decline, led the gains on Monday.
The stock, which has the highest weighting on the Sensex, closed 1.8% higher, trying to catch up with the broader market rally.
Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp rose 3.6%, recovering from a 5-percent decline over the previous four sessions.
Metal producers rallied as copper prices rose more than 1% in Shanghai, towing London to within a whisker of an all-time peak, on positive technical signals and strong data from China over the weekend.
Tata Steel, the world’s seventh-largest steelmaker, climbed 2.1% while aluminium maker Hindalco rose 3.1%.
At 3:55pm, Europe’s FTSEurofirst 300 gained 0.5% while the MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan firmed 0.4%.
JSW Steel rose 8.2% to Rs 1,129.50 after Goldman Sachs upgraded the steelmaker to buy’ from neutral’.
Personal care products maker Emami Ltd jumped 16.7% to Rs 418.25 after its failed attempt to acquire privately held Indian Paras Pharmaceuticals allayed fears of overpaying for the deal, dealers said.
Top power and engineering construction firm Bharat Heavy Electricals climbed 2.7% to Rs 2,340.20 as CLSA upgraded the stock to buy’ from outperform’.
Graphic by Ahmed Raza Khan/Mint