Sensex rises 0.9%; Reliance leads

Sensex rises 0.9%; Reliance leads

Mumbai: Sensex firmed 0.9% on Friday, taking cues from gains in world markets and expectations for robust factory data, but there were still doubts about whether the market can sustain the rise.

Reliance Industries was among the main gainers after sources told Reuters the energy major was in talks to buy a stake in the shale gas assets of US-based Pioneer Natural Resources.

Financials climbed on hopes robust data will boost demand for loans. April industrial output, due around 11 am (0530 GMT), is expected to show an annual 13.5% growth, according to the median forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.

British bank Standard Chartered’s Indian depositary receipts traded near the offer price on their market debut but below their equivalent London close, in what was the first such share issue in India.

They were trading at Rs105.05, compared with the issue price of Rs104. They clocked the highest volume on BSE and NSE.

By 9:57 am (0427 GMT), the 30-share BSE index was trading up 0.92% at 17,078.37 points, with 25 of its components gaining.

“The rise is not very convincing. We have not been able to hold on the gains in recent times," said Ambareesh Baliga, vice-president of Karvy Stock Broking.

Foreign funds have been net buyers of around $84 million of equities this month, after they dumped nearly $2 billion of stocks in May in the wake of the euro zone’s fiscal troubles.

Baliga said any fresh problems in Europe could trigger outflows.

Reliance Industries, which has the highest weight on the Sensex, climbed 2%, while top lender State Bank of India was up 0.7%. ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank rose 1.1% and 1.6% respectively.

Leading outsourcer Tata Consultancy Services rose 0.9% after its chief executive told Reuters it has not seen any delay in decision making by clients despite the debt crisis in Europe and a recovery in outsourcing demand is happening across markets.

Rivals Infosys Technologies and Wipro rose 1% and 1.2% respectively.

Top mobile operator Bharti Airtel was down 1.8%, after rising more than 10% in two previous sessions.

In the broader market, gainers were nearly thrice the number of losers on volume of 63 million shares.

The 50-share NSE index was up 0.9% at 5,125.

Stocks on the move

State-run energy firms fell after India’s cabinet did not discuss any proposal on Thursday to raise fuel prices or reform the sector, continuing the uncertainty over a move that faces strong political resistance.

Oil & Natural Gas Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Indian Oil Corp dropped between 0.2% and 1.2%.

Jet Airways was up 3% at Rs510.50 after the top private carrier posted a 41% annual rise in domestic air traffic and 37 percent rise in international air traffic in May.

State-run copper producer Hindustan Copper extended losses and dropped 0.4% to Rs467.15, as the federal cabinet on Thursday deferred a decision to sell stake in the company.