Markets find footing after weaker opening

Markets find footing after weaker opening

Mumbai: Indian shares recovered their footing on Friday after they had opened weaker on losses in Asian markets following an unexpected contraction in the vast US services sector spurred worries about the economic recovery.

Export-focused software services companies led the gainers, with Infosys Technologies up 1.8% after a newspaper report it was one of three IT vendors selected by Wal-Mart Stores for multi-year contracts worth more than $600 million.

Sector leader Tata Consultancy and Wipro gained 0.8% and 2.5% respectively.

“We remain positive on the overall demand environment for the IT Services business," Prabhudas Lilladher analyst Shashi Bhusan said in a note, saying Wipro was better placed to grow than the industry average.

At 11:57am, the 30-share BSE Index was trading up 0.4% at 17,248.65, with two-thirds of its components gaining. It fell as much as 0.8 percent early. The 50-share NSE index was up 0.3% at 5,148.

Local sentiment has been mostly upbeat this week following stronger-than-expected September quarter growth data, with the market hitting six-week highs on Thursday.

“The market is in the consolidation phase right now. Liquidity is what is keeping the interest in the market," K.K. Mital, head of portfolio management services at Globe Capital said.

“It could test its recent peaks in days to come, but a huge upside in unlikely unless we have strong positive triggers to drive it up," he added.

The benchmark has risen 79% so far in 2009, fuelled by foreign fund inflow of almost $16 billion in Indian equities.

The country’s second largest lender, ICICI Bank, extended Thursday’s losses, dropping 0.6 percent to 878.50 rupees, after rising nearly 5% earlier in the week.

In the broader market, gainers led losers in a ratio of 1.7:1 as 161 million shares changed hands on the Bombay Stock Exchange.