Markets end 0.8% high on firm world stocks

Markets end 0.8% high on firm world stocks

Mumbai: Indian shares logged their first weekly loss in three, but climbed 0.8% on Friday, cheering the rise in world markets and robust factory data, with energy giant Reliance Industries leading the gains.

Reliance Industries, which has the highest weight on Sensex, climbed 3% to Rs1,046.25.

Billionaire Mukesh-Ambani controlled company said after market hours it agreed to buy a 95% stake in Infotel Broadband Services, which had won all-India broadband spectrum in an auction that ended on Friday, for Rs4800 crore ($1.03 billion).

“It was Mukesh’s passion that led the company to re-enter this business. It is definitely a positive for the company," said Neeraj Dewan, director of Quantum Securities.

Separately, the company said it had discovered oil in one of its exploration blocks on the western coast.

Sources told Reuters on Thursday the energy major was in talks to buy a stake in the shale gas assets of US-based Pioneer Natural Resources.

British bank Standard Chartered’s Indian depositary receipts (IDRs) disappointed investors and closed at Rs103.05, below their offer price of Rs104, on their first day of listing. These IDRs were the most traded on the BSE.

The 30-share BSE index closed 142.87 points higher at 17,064.95, but ended 0.3% lower this week. Twenty-one of its components closed in the green. The 50-share NSE index rose 0.8% to 5,119.35 points.

“We closed higher but still underperformed our Asian peers. The troubles in Europe are still not over. They continue to be a worry," said Dewan.

The MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan gained 1.6% while Japan’s Nikkei climbed 1.7%.

Industrial output in the world’s second-fastest major growing economy rose at a stronger-than-expected 17.6% in April, reinforcing expectations the central bank will lift rates for the third time this year at a policy review late next month.

Foreign funds have been net buyers of around $84 million of equities this month, and the benchmark is up 0.7% in June.

They withdrew nearly $2 billion in May as the euro zone’s debt jitters hit risk appetite, pulling down the main index by 3.5%.

Foreign funds have bought a net of around $4.7 billion on Indian stocks so far this year, with a slice of it invested in primary market offerings.

Bharti Airtel dropped 3.8% after rising more than 10% in two previous sessions.

The top telecoms firm won broadband spectrum in only four zones and said scarcity of slots and the auction format had resulted in extremely high price levels.

Financials shrugged off concerns of likely monetary tightening and gained on optimism that loan demand would rise as the economy advances.

Leading lender State Bank of India was up 0.5% at Rs2,338.

On Thursday, Goldman Sachs upgraded SBI to “neutral" from “sell", saying a strong economy bodes well for the lender which has a huge branch network, high liquidity in the stock, and lower valuations compared to private lenders.

Private lenders ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank rose 1.9% and 1.5%, respectively.

Top software firm Tata Consultancy Services rose 1.1% to Rs758.90 after its chief executive told Reuters it has not seen any delay in decision making by clients despite the debt crisis in Europe and that a recovery in outsourcing demand is happening across markets.

In the broader market, gainers outnumbered losers in the ratio of 1.2:1 on a relatively low volume of 303 million shares.

Elsewhere, world stocks measured by the MSCI All-Country World Index advanced 0.5% by 1030 GMT while its volatile emerging markets counterpart rose 1.2%, helped by optimism over global economic growth.

Stocks that moved

State-run energy firms fell after India’s cabinet failed to discuss any proposal on Thursday to raise fuel prices or reform the sector, continuing the uncertainty over a move that faces strong political resistance.

Oil & Natural Gas Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Indian Oil Corp dropped between 0.7% and 2.1%.

Jet Airways rose 0.8% to 499.55 rupees after the top private carrier posted a 41% annual rise in domestic air traffic and 37% rise in international air traffic in May.

Oil explorer Cairn India rose 1.3% to Rs301.05, as crude oil prices held above $75 per barrel.