Mumbai:India’s stocks rose the most in a week as oil prices declined and concerns over the stability of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s coalition government eased.
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Tata Motors Ltd, the biggest truck maker, jumped 3%. Oil dropped for the first time in three days after Al Jazeera reported that Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi offered to relinquish power, prompting speculation that fighting may ease in Africa’s third biggest producer.
The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) sensitive index, or Sensex, gained 216.98 points, or 1.2%, to 18,439.65, the first advance in three days. The S&P CNX Nifty on the National Stock Exchange rose 1.1% to 5,520.80, while its April futures settled at 5,563.70. The BSE 200 index surged 1.1% to 2,261.32.
Things are settling down, said Vikas Khemani, head of institutional equities at Edelweiss Capital Ltd in Mumbai, who advises global funds on strategies. The fall in oil prices has eased investor concern and there’s no risk to the government right now. He’s advising investors to buy shares of drug makers and energy companies.
Tata Motors added 3% to Rs1,162.15, while its April futures settled at Rs1,149. Jaiprakash Associates climbed 2.3% to Rs84.2.
Crude oil dropped as much as 2% in New York trading after Al Jazeera reported the proposal that guaranteed safe passage for the leader.
The Sensex fell the most in a week on Monday as the threat of a coalition partner’s withdrawal may make it harder to pass laws added to concern an oil price rally will fan inflation.
The gauge has lost 10% this year, the worst performer in Asia among benchmark indexes tracked by Bloomberg. Sensex companies trade at an average 17.4 times estimated profit, down from a high of about 21 times a year ago.
We view any weakness in the Indian markets due to political uncertainty as an opportunity to buy select large cap stocks, Suresh A. Mahadevan, an analyst at UBS AG, wrote in a report on Tuesday. While we believe Indian stocks may remain under pressure in the short term on the back of rising crude prices and foreign institutional investor outflows, we remain positive on a 12-month horizon, the note added.
DLF Ltd, the biggest developer, advanced 1.9% to Rs222.6 after it was raised to hold from reduce by Sandeep Mathew and Avneesh Sukhija, analysts at BNP Paribas SA, who wrote in a note to investors that recovery in the company’s office markets seems to be on track.
JSW Steel Ltd increased 1.9% to Rs936.85, while its April futures settled at Rs948.9. Steel production by India’s third biggest manufacturer of the alloy rose 8% year-on-year in February, according to its statement to BSE.
Overseas investors bought a net Rs626 crore of Indian equities on 4 March, reducing their outflow from equities this year to Rs8,090 crore, according to the website of the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
India’s corporate earnings lured foreign investors to buy a record $29.3 billion of local stocks last year and made the Sensex the best performer and most expensive among the world’s 10 biggest markets.
Graphic by Sandeep Bhatnagar/Mint