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Markets near 2-month high; Reliance, banks rise

Markets near 2-month high; Reliance, banks rise
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First Published: Wed, Mar 17 2010. 10 41 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Mar 17 2010. 10 41 AM IST
Mumbai: Indian shares rose more than 1% to near two-month highs on Wednesday morning, led by gains in energy major Reliance Industries and financials, with world equities rising after the United States kept monetary policy unchanged.
Reliance Industries extended gains and climbed 0.8% to Rs1,075.45 after a source told Reuters the company is seeking a joint venture with Atlas Energy to develop the US firm’s Marcellus Shale gas operations.
“It looks like they are out to buy an asset at the right price,” said Gaurav Dua, head of research at Sharekhan said.
“If things don’t work out, they are moving on to other opportunities,” he added.
By 10:44am, the 30-share BSE Index was trading up 1.04% at 17,563.23, with 29 of its components gaining. The 50-share NSE index was up 1.1% at 5,252.75.
It rose as much as 17576.78 earlier, its highest level since 20 January.
“The market may see upside from current levels after the consolidation we saw, as advance tax figures for March quarter were promising,” said Jigar Shah, vice-president of equity sales at Motilal Oswal.
“Also, global cues are good,” added Shah.
Foreign funds have pumped in more than $2.5 billion in Indian equities since the start of this month to 12 March, leading to a nearly 7% rise in the benchmark index.
Financials rose, supported by a broad market rally, and on improving long-term prospects in the growing economy.
Top lender State Bank of India rose 1% while private lenders ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank gained 1.5% and 0.1% respectively.
Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp rose 0.9%.
Non-ferrous metals producer Sterlite Industries climbed 1.3% as a softer dollar pushed copper prices higher.
Tata Steel, world’s eighth-largest steel maker by output, climbed 1.9% while aluminium maker Hindalco rose 2.1%.
In the broader market, gainers more than doubled the number of losers in a volume of 129 million shares.
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First Published: Wed, Mar 17 2010. 10 41 AM IST