Mumbai: Indian shares were trading slightly higher on Friday, but trading was choppy on caution ahead of US jobs data.
The US labour market is forecast to have shed 100,000 jobs in August as the jobless rate crept higher to 9.6 percent. The data is due at 6:00pm.
Export-focused outsourcers led the gainers on optimism about the outlook after Mahindra Satyam said late on Thursday it had won a multi-million dollar technology services deal from a large health insurer.
By 10:33amm, the 30-share BSE index was trading up 0.07% at 18,251.34 points, with 18 of its components gaining. It is up 1.4% so far this week.
“We are holding on because of firm Asia but there is caution before the U.S. jobs data. If something went wrong there, we could see a bad Monday morning,” said Anish Marfatia, head of sales trading at Avendus Securities.
The benchmark index is up 4.5% so far in 2010, adding to the 81% rally in 2009.
Leading outsourcer Tata Consultancy Services firmed 0.6%, while rival Infosys Technologies climbed 1.3%. Wipro bucked the trend and dropped 0.4%.
Mahindra Satyam was up 5.8%.
Energy major Reliance Industries shed 0.8% as investors were concerned about its diversification from its core business and a delay in the ramp up of its gas production.
Auto shares continued to rally on mostly robust August sales reported this week.
“We expect the demand for passenger cars, utility vehicles and two-wheelers to sustain while the demand for tractors is expected to revive post-monsoon,” brokerage Sharekhan said in a note.
Leading car maker Maruti Suzuki was up 0.1% while Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra rose 0.3% and 1.8% respectively. Top motorcycle maker Hero Honda rose 1.8% after declining more than 5% over three previous sessions.
In the broader market, gainers were twice the number of losers on volume of 116 million shares.
The 50-share NSE index was barely changed at 5,487.50.
Trent, controlled by the diversified Tata Group, was up 5.2% at Rs1,127. The retailer said Reliance Capital Asset Management, part of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group, had acquired 8.68% in the company.
Steel Strips Wheels was up 5.8% at Rs257 after the automobile wheel rims maker said it won new export orders from Europe.
GVK Power and Infrastructure rose nearly 1% to Rs47.40, after a top company official told Reuters on Thursday it plans to raise funds for the airport business via private equity.