Mumbai: Indian shares rose to their highest level in two-and-a-half years on Friday, bouyed by a rally in world equities and better-than-expected quarterly earnings by outsourcer Wipro.
Export-driven software services companies were among the gainers after Wipro posted a 31% rise in quarterly profit said it was seeing strong business environment.
Wipro rose as much as 4.2% to 433 rupees. If it rises past 451.80, it would be the highest level in a decade, data from Thomson Reuters showed.
“For the IT sector, demand environment is good. Also, pricing scene is stable and improving,” said Deven Choksey, managing director and CEO of KR Choksey Shares.
He expects a 15-20% upside for tier-I IT stocks.
Bigger rivals Tata Consultancy Services rose as much as 0.9% to a record high of 850 rupees, while Infosys Technologies was up 0.6%.
By 11:12am, the 30-share BSE index was trading up 0.32% at 18,171 points -- after hitting 18,237.56, its highest level since February 2008. The 50-share NSE index was up 0.3% at 5,459.35.
Eighteen of its components were trading in the green. In the broader market, gainers led losers in a ratio of 1.3:1 on volume of 139 million shares.
Foreign funds have poured $8.8 billion into Indian equities this year, driving the benchmark index up more than 4%. In 2009, they had bought a record $17.5 billion of stocks and helped power an 81% rally.
Asian stocks rose as strong earnings from economic bellwethers such as Caterpillar tempered concerns about a global slowdown.
“Global cues will remain uncertain for a while. But a lot of corrective measures which are taken, will prevent the economies from going down under,” said Choksey.
Brokerage Sharekhan said the hourly momentum indicator showed an upside was gaining strength.
Top-listed biotechnology firm Biocon slipped 1.3% after it reported a lower-than-expected 33% rise quarterly profit.
Energy giant Reliance Industries, which has the highest weight on the Sensex, climbed 0.3% to Rs1,062.
Cigarette-to-hotel group ITC added 0.7% after rising 1.6% on Thursday following a 22% rise in quarterly profit.
Credit rating firm Crisil was down 2.8% at Rs5,700, after the unit of Standard & Poor’s Corp said late on Thursday its net profit fell 13%.
Dr Reddy’s Laboratories shed 1.3% to Rs1,363.10, extending losses after the drugmaker said on Thursday consolidated quarterly profit fell a more-than-expected 14.3% following a drop in sales in its key US market.
JSW Steel was up nearly 1% at Rs1,213, after a report said JFE Holdings Inc, Japan’s second-biggest steelmaker, plans to invest about $1 billion in the Indian firm.