Markets up 0.6%; TCS up, Bajaj Auto down

Markets up 0.6%; TCS up, Bajaj Auto down

Mumbai: Indian shares nudged 0.6% higher on Thursday, led by energy major Reliance Industries and top outsourcer Tata Consultancy Services, but there was signs of a market rally losing steam.

Traders said investors continued to bid for a $3.5 billion IPO by Coal India, the country’s largest-ever, before the sale closes later in the day. The offering was oversubscribed nearly 12 times on Wednesday with bids for roughly $40 billion.

Bajaj Auto erased early gains of 1.5% and fell 0.1% after Bank of America-Merrill Lynch cut the No. 2 motorcycle maker to underperform from neutral, saying the earnings upgrade cycle has ended.

Tata Consultancy climbed 1.4% ahead of its quarterly result, expected after market hours on Thursday. Analysts expect the company, whose clients include Citigroup and General Electric, to post a 23.2% rise in earnings.

At 11:31am, the 30-share BSE index was up 0.6% at 19,991 points, with 23 of its components advancing. The 50-share NSE index was up 0.6% at 6,018.65.

Nilesh Doshi, president of equities at Techno Shares, said the market would be rangebound until early November.

Investors are awaiting quarterly earnings that run till the end of this month, a meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers this week in South Korea, and the Indian central bank’s policy review on 2 November, he said.

The Reserve Bank of India is widely expected to raise rates for the sixth time in nine months at the review to rein in stubbornly high inflation.

Still, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank were up between 0.1% and 0.9% as investors were upbeat about demand for loans in a fast-growing economy.

Strong foreign portfolio investment has also underpinned the market. Equity inflows have reached a record $23.6 billion so far in 2010, and the benchmark BSE index has gained more than 14% in the period.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries, which has been a laggard this year, rose 1.4% as it sought to catch up with the broader market.

Cement maker ACC was trading 1.7% lower ahead of its quarterly earnings.

In the broader market, gainers were more than double the number of losers on volume of 166 million shares.

Elsewhere, the MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan was barely changed, while Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.1%.


Lender Canara Bank was up 4.1% at Rs684.10, after Bank of America-Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to buy from underperform and RBS raised the stock to buy from hold.

Motilal Oswal Financial Services shed 2.9% to 196.50 rupees, as the financial services firm said late on Wednesday its September quarter net profit dropped 30%.