Shares rise 0.5%; metals, automakers gain

Shares rise 0.5%; metals, automakers gain

Mumbai: Indian shares rose 0.5% in early trade on Wednesday as investors remained bullish ahead of major earnings in the next few sessions, with sentiment boosted by firmer Asian markets and overnight gains on Wall Street.

Energy major Reliance Industries and construction conglomerate Larsen & Toubro led the gains, with metal firms and auto stocks also advancing.

“The undertone in the market is fairly bullish. There is no major negative cues, and people are in no hurry to get out. We are waiting for the major results," said Gajendra Nagpal, chief executive at Unicon Financial.

By 10:51 am, the BSE 30-share index Sensex was trading up 0.45% at 17,958.00 points, with 23 of its components gaining. The index had risen as much as 0.6% early and was trading in a narrow range.

In the broader market, gainers were more than double the number of losers, underlining the market sentiment. About 116 million shares have been traded so far.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries, which had declined in the past three sessions, was up 0.4% at Rs1,057.15.

Shares in metal firms were up after metal futures rose on the London Metal Exchange on Tuesday, helped by shrinking inventories and a surprise increase in US applications for building permits that suggested a pick up in construction activity.

Tata Steel, the world’s seventh largest steelmaker, was up 1.5% to Rs517.10, Sterlite Industries gained 1.7% at Rs169, while Hindalco Industries rose 0.6% to Rs153.55.

Auto stocks were among the gainers on hopes of strong earnings in the next few days, given the strong sales volumes in the last few months.

Bajaj Auto, which will report quarterly earnings on Thursday, was up 0.7%, while leading carmaker Maruti Suzuki, due to announce its earnings on Saturday, rose 0.9%. Mahindra & Mahindra was up 3%.

Largest lender State Bank of India and HDFC Bank bucked the positive trend over concerns of a rise in interest rates later this month and were trading down 0.1% and nearly 0.5% respectively.

The NSE 50-share index Nifty was up 0.5% at 5,392.80 points.

The MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan was up 0.37%, while Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.26%.