Stocks gain; 2G scam probe eyed

Stocks gain; 2G scam probe eyed

Mumbai: Shares were up 1% on Monday, cheering firm Asian peers after the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to help bail out Ireland with loans, amid caution over the 2G spectrum scandal.

The UPA government has called for an all-party meeting on Monday at 1:00 pm to break an almost two-week long deadlock in Parliament over demands the government agrees to a broad investigation into alleged corruption over the sale of 2G spectrum licences.

Energy major Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) led the gains with a 1.4% rise after it said late Friday it has safely restarted its crude distillation unit at its Jamnagar refinery.

At 11:21 am, the BSE 30-share index Sensex was up 1% at 19,781.75 points, with 25 of its components advancing.

The benchmark index is up 13.3% year to date, helped by $28.4 billion in foreign fund inflows into Indian equities.

But, foreign funds were net sellers in three of four sessions ending Thursday, data from the market regulator showed.

“All the punch lines about an attractive market seem to have disappeared for now. We got to be cautious. The bullish tone that prevailed until late is suddenly silent," said Arun Kejriwal, director of research firm KRIS.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the Supreme Court on Saturday he had done nothing wrong and had followed correct procedures.

Tata Motors gained 1% after the vehicles maker said late Friday it would start selling its small car Nano in six more states from 22 November.

Financials marched ahead as investors were upbeat on the outlook for loan demand in a fast-expanding economy.

Leading lenders State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank rose between 0.5% to 1.1%.

In the broader market, gainers outpaced losers in a ratio of 1.7:1, with 111 million shares changing hands.

The NSE 50-share index Nifty was up nearly 1% at 5,948 points.

Elsewhere, the MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan was up 0.7%, while Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.1%.