Shares end flat; SBI scales record high

Shares end flat; SBI scales record high

Mumbai: Indian shares ended flat in see-saw Thursday trade, outperforming the world markets which were in the red, with top lender State Bank of India soaring to a record as its June-quarter results beat street view.

State Bank of India rose as much as 7.5% to a record high of Rs2,797.80, after posting a 25% jump in its June-quarter net profit.

“I would recommend buying the stock after the fantastic results. The net interest income has risen sharply," said Gajendra Nagpal, CEO of Unicon Financial.

The BSE 30-share index Sensex closed 0.02% or 3.71 points higher at 18,073.90 points, with 12 of its components advancing.

“SBI was one of the factors that saved us. Also, Europe was trading in the green," said Nagpal, who expects the market to consolidate for a while, adding, the long-term trend was optimistic.

Investors shrugged riskier assets, on worries over global economic growth, dragging world equities down.

The MSCI world equity index was down 0.3% at 1035 GMT while the more volatile emerging markets index shed 0.9%.

Industrial output in Asia’s third-largest economy rose at its slowest pace in 13 months in June, but the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is still expected to roll out more rate rises from next month as it battles double-digit inflation.

Foreign funds have poured in $11.3 billion so far in 2010 in Indian equities, a part of which was absorbed by primary market issuance. The benchmark index is up 3.5% year to date.

These inflows add to a record $17.5 billion investment in 2009, which saw the index gain 81%.

Hindustan Unilever rose 2.2% riding on India’s domestic consumption story even as the top household products and consumer goods maker battled with intensifying competition, dealers said.

Energy giant Reliance Industries contributed the most to the main index’s losses on continued concerns about the delay in the ramp up of its gas production, in the absence of any near-term triggers.

The stock, which weighs the most on the main index, closed 1.1% lower. It has lost 7.7% since 27 July, when it unveiled its quarterly results.

Export-oriented software companies declined as worries on global economic growth gripped investors.

Top outsourcer Tata Consultancy Services fell 0.4% while peers Infosys Technologies and Wipro shed 1.2% each.

Tata Motors rose as much as 2.5% to Rs1,031.80, its highest level in at least 20 years, as investors were upbeat about its street-smashing, June-quarter results announced earlier this week.

“In view of JLR’s (Jaguar Land Rover) turnaround and Tata Motors’ outstanding performance on the margins front, we now upgrade the stock from Moderate Outperform to Outperform," First Global said in a note.

The stock closed 1.7% higher at Rs1,024.

Top utility vehicles maker Mahindra & Mahindra closed 0.8% higher after falling as much as nearly 2%. Earlier, troubled South Korean firm Ssangyong Motor named it as the preferred bidder.

Tata Power shed 0.4% as the country’s largest private sector utility said June-quarter net profit dropped by a third.

Tata Steel, world’s seventh-largest steelmaker by output, closed 0.1% lower ahead of its June-quarter results announcement scheduled after market hours.

The benchmark BSE index has outperformed its emerging market peers such as China’s Shanghai Composite Index and Brazil’s Bovespa which have shed 21.4% and 4.1% respectively year to date.

Its peer Russia’s RTS index has gained 0.4% so far in 2010.

In the broader market, losers outnumbered gainers in the ratio of 1.3:1, in a volume of 412 million shares.

The NSE 50-share index Nifty dipped 0.1% at 5,416.45 points.