Markets end at 6-week high on global cues

Markets end at 6-week high on global cues

Mumbai: Indian shares closed at their highest level in more than six weeks, led by private lender ICICI Bank, as better-than-expected US jobs data fuelled hopes of a recovery in the world’s largest economy.

Analysts said outlook for the market in the short-term was positive on robust overseas fund flows into Asia’s third-largest economy. Foreign investors had bought shares worth $940 million last week.

ICICI rose 2.3% to Rs922.75, its highest closing in nearly four months, with analysts saying the bank’s move to raise auto loans rates and discontinue its special home loan rate last week was a sign of a demand revival.

“With no major trigger coming from the local market, we are dancing to the global tunes which have been by and large positive," said Gajendra Nagpal, chief executive of Unicon Financial, a New Delhi-based brokerage.

“There is abundant liquidity and appetite for risky assets is growing."

The BSE 30-share index Sensex ended up 0.64%, or 108.11 points, at 17,102.60, its highest closing level since 20 January, after having risen as much as 1.1% during the day. Twenty of its components were in the positive zone.

US Labor Department data on Friday showed employers cut fewer jobs than expected in February, suggesting that the world’s largest economy may be strong enough to start creating new jobs soon.

Other data showed US consumer credit rose in January for the first time in a year. A resurgence in consumer spending is seen as vital to a sustainable global recovery.

State Bank of India gained 1.2% to close at Rs2,070.25 after the government sought parliamentary approval to cut its stake in the top lender to 51% from 55%.

Reliance Industries, which has the highest weight on the main index, fell 0.5% to Rs1,005.20. An offer from Reliance was not sufficiently valuable to LyondellBasell to abandon its reorganization plan, Lyondell said on Monday.

Reliance, India’s largest listed firm, has been looking to take over the bankrupt chemicals firm with an offer that valued the target at about $14.5 billion.

In the broader market, gainers were nearly twice the number of losers on volume of 482 million shares.

The NSE 50-share index Nifty was up 0.69% at 5,124.