Sensex rises over 2%, highest since June 2008

Sensex rises over 2%, highest since June 2008

Mumbai: The BSE Sensex rose 2.2% to a 13-month high on Friday morning, as hopes for a global economic recovery were revived by a set of solid corporate results overseas that boosted markets across Asia following a Wall Street rally overnight.

Energy giant Reliance Industries rose 1.9% to Rs1,936.55, while state-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp gained 5.5% to Rs1,160 as oil extended gains above $67 a barrel after a 5.7% jump in the previous session.

Other major gainers included engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro, which advanced 2.3% to Rs1,524, and outsourcer Infosys Technologies that climbed 1.6% to Rs2,042.20.

By 11:26am, the 30-share BSE index was up 1.9% at 15,672.87 points, with 27 stocks advancing, after rising to as much as 15,732.81, its highest since 18 June last year.

“Overseas markets are giving support, and it’s Friday, so there is a feel-good factor ahead of the weekend that is making people take up more long positions," Arun Kejriwal, a strategist at research firm KRIS, said.

The benchmark fell for the first three sessions of the week as results from some top firms such as Reliance Industries, Tata Steel and Hindustan Unilever disappointed.

But on Thursday, the index rose 1.4% as government-run State Bank of India reported a better-than-expected 42% jump in quarterly profit, giving fresh confidence to investors.

State Bank of India rose 4.5% to Rs1,799.70, extending gains of 4% on Thursday.

Non-ferrous metals producer Sterlite Industries added 3.9% to Rs651 as copper surged to its best level in 10 months.

In the broader market on Friday, gainers led losers by more than 2.5 to 1 on relatively heavy volume of 151.7 million shares.

The 50-share NSE index was up 1.7% at 4,648.30.

Asian shares were higher on Friday, with Japan’s Nikkei up 1.6%, while MSCI’s measure of other Asian markets rose 1.5%.