Markets edge higher; financials lead

Markets edge higher; financials lead

Mumbai: Financials helped Indian shares shrug off a shaky start and nose higher on Tuesday as Asian markets recouped early losses, but investors were wary ahead of the national budget on Friday.

Top lender State Bank of India rose 0.8%, while private-sector rivals ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank gained 1.1% and 0.1% respectively on hopes for long-term boost in an expanding economy.

By 10:46am, the 30-share BSE index was trading up 0.15% at 16,261.44, with 21 of its components gaining. It was down as much as 0.4% early. The 50-share NSE index was up 0.2% at 4,863.70.

“We recovered a bit as Asian markets recovered," said Kunal Sukhani, manager of institutional equities at Asian Markets Securities.

“But there is no strength in the market to hold on to the gains. People will wait until the budget," he said, who forecast the benchmark in a 16,000-16,500 range until budget.

Though most expectations are centred on a rollback of stimulus measures, fiscal deficit is likely to get precedence in budget considerations, Dun & Bradstreet said in a note.

“While the containment of the fiscal deficit will take place only over a period of time, the budget is expected to very clearly set the time-lines for it," it said.

Reliance Industries dropped 0.1% to Rs978.45, after a source familiar with the deal said the energy giant has raised its bid for bankrupt chemicals maker LyondellBasell to an offer which values the company at $14.5 billion.

In the broader market, gainers led losers in a ratio of 1.4:1 on volume of 67 million shares.