Noon: Markets rise 0.5%; outsoucers gain

Noon: Markets rise 0.5%; outsoucers gain

Mumbai: Indian shares rose 0.5% on Wednesday, as a drop in the rupee boosted IT-services exporters and helped by short-covering a day before the expiry of monthly derivatives contracts.

Outsourcer Infosys Technologies gained 3% to Rs2,158.80, and bigger rival Tata Consultancy rose 3.9% to Rs549, leading the main index higher.

Data that showed US consumer confidence increased more than expected in August also helped outsourcers, which get most of their revenue from the United States.

Other major gainers included energy giant Reliance Industries, which climbed 0.3% to Rs2,028.90, Tata Power, which advanced 3.3% to Rs1,355, and No. 3 outsourcer Wipro that added 3% to Rs560.90.

Top telecoms firm Bharti Airtel, which is in exclusive merger talks with South Africa’s MTN, was up 0.6% at Rs409.55.

“There has been no bad news recently, and that itself is good news. Also, there is some short-covering going on that is supporting the market," Himanshu Varia, head of institutional sales at Asit C. Mehta Investment Interrmediates, said.

By 11:28am, the 30-share BSE index was up 0.5% at 15,771.70 points, with 23 stocks advancing.

The benchmark has risen 5.9% over the past four days, moving into positive territory for August after having fallen earlier in the month on worries about a weak monsoon, high valuations and looming inflation.

Encouraging global economic data and a rally across equity markets worldwide has also supported India’s main index recently.

However, having already priced in an upturn in the global economy, investors are looking for more signs that growth can be sustained once the impact of massive global government stimulus spending fades, traders say.

There are also worries stocks may have moved ahead of economic fundamentals and may be due for a correction.

In the broader Indian market on Wednesday, gainers led losers by almost 3 to 1 on relatively heavy volume of 227.5 million shares.

The 50-share NSE index was up 0.6% at 4,685.20.

Asian shares were higher on Wednesday, with Japan’s Nikkei up 1.4%, while MSCI’s measure of other Asian markets rose 0.4%.