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Shares rise 0.2%, set for 6th weekly gain

Shares rise 0.2%, set for 6th weekly gain
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First Published: Fri, Mar 19 2010. 10 34 AM IST
Updated: Fri, Mar 19 2010. 10 34 AM IST
Mumbai: Indian shares were trading 0.2% higher on Friday, supported by a firm Asia, and were set to post their sixth straight weekly gain.
The sentiment was also boosted after rating agency Standard and Poor’s lifted its outlook on India to stable on Thursday, citing an improving fiscal position and strong economic growth.
By 10:24am, the 30-share BSE Index was trading up 0.17%, or 30.22 points, at 17,549.74, with 21 of its components gaining.
“It all looks good from a long-term perspective, until there is some negative event which spoils the party,” said Rakesh Rawal, head of private wealth management at Anand Rathi from Bangalore.
A Reuters poll expects Sensex to rise to 18,000 points by end-June and end 2010 at 19,250, driven by earnings optimism and supported by robust economic growth.
However, small bouts of profit booking were not ruled out, dealers said.
Foreign funds have been consistently buying this month, which has fuelled gains of nearly 7% so far in the month.
Top mobile operator Bharti Airtel rose nearly 2%, after data released by an industry body showed on Thursday that it has added 2.9 million mobile users in February, taking its total subscribers to 124.6 million.
Banks were mixed. Top lender State Bank of India and private lender HDFC Bank rose 1.3% and 0.5% respectively, while top private lender ICICI Bank dropped 0.4%.
Standard & Poor’s on Thursday also raised its outlook on 12 Indian banks, including the three above, to stable from negative.
There were concerns over monetary tightening after a central bank deputy governor said late on Thursday that the Reserve Bank of India was open to taking policy action ahead of its 20 April policy review.
The RBI is under increasing pressure to raise interest rates for the first time since the global downturn, with headline inflation nearing 10%.
India’s second-largest software services exporter Infosys Technologies shed 0.1%, after it hit all-time highs in the previous session.
Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp dropped 1.1% after gaining more than 2% over three previous sessions.
In the broader market, gainers led losers in a ratio of 1.6:1 in a volume of 100 million shares.
The 50-share NSE index was up 0.1% at 5,252,45.
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First Published: Fri, Mar 19 2010. 10 34 AM IST
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