Markets gain on bargain hunting, banks lead

Markets gain on bargain hunting, banks lead

Mumbai: Shares were trading higher on Friday after an early slide triggered bargain hunting, a day after the market had fallen 2.3% in its biggest drop in more than six months.

Shares in energy major Reliance Industries led the gainers, while top lender State Bank of India and No. 2 ICICI Bank also climbed after being beaten down most of the week.

By 10:25am, the 30-share BSE index was up 0.6% at 19,353.70, with 20 of its components in the positive. The index fell as much as 0.8% in early trade.

“People are seeing buying opportunities in select stocks, because the fundamentals of the economy remain the same," said K.K. Mital, chief executive for portfolio management services at Globe Capital Markets.

India’s industrial output data, due at 11:00am, is expected to give direction for the session. Growth probably accelerated to 8.5% in October from a year earlier, a median forecast of 29 economists showed.

“There is negative sentiment because of concerns about regulatory investigations. But I think markets will now stabilise," Mital said.

Investors have been jittery on fears of a widening regulatory crackdown on companies and deepening probe into a telecom corruption scandal.

On Thursday, New Delhi widened the probe into the country’s biggest corruption case to include decisions made during the main opposition party’s rule, a move that may take steam out of a campaign against the government.

Largest-listed Reliance Industries rose 2.6% to 1,010. It had lost nearly 5% through this week.

ICICI Bank was up 3% at 1,090, while State Bank of India rose 0.8% to 2,708.20.

State-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp was up 0.3% after the company bid for a 25% stake that the US energy major Exxon Mobil owns in an Angolan offshore oil block.

In the broader market, gainers were nearly 1.6 times the number of losers on volume of 101 million shares.

The broader 50-share NSE index was up 0.7% at 5,804.75. Among key losers, HDFC Bank extended losses, down 2.1% at 2,190.80, after it raised fixed deposit rates by up to 75 basis points from Friday.


S. Kumars Nationwide Ltd rose 10.1% after the company said unit Reid & Taylor had filed regulatory papers for an initial public offer of shares.

* Low fare carrier SpiceJet fell 3% after it placed an order for 15 short-haul turboprop planes, worth about $446 million, from Bombardier Inc.