Shares edge higher as metals climb

Shares edge higher as metals climb


Mumbai: Shares nudged up 0.2% on Wednesday powered by metal producers on firm world metal prices, but trading was choppy reflecting investor concern about inflation and a looming rate rise.

Tata Steel rose 1% after the world’s seventh-largest steel maker raised $112 million from anchor investors at the upper end of an indicated price range ahead of a public share offering.

Financials mostly traded lower with the central bank expected to unveil a hawkish monetary policy next Tuesday, while export-focused outsourcers dropped after a run up this week.

Investors were also circumspect ahead of a cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, expected later on Wednesday.

“There is lack of confidence in the market. Let us see how the cabinet reshuffle happens. Inflation issue continues to bother for now," said K.K. Mital, head of portfolio management services at Globe Capital.

By 10:49am, the 30-share BSE index was trading up 0.15% at 19,120.75, with two-thirds of its components gaining. The 50-share NSE index was up 0.2% at 5,735.35.

Foreign funds have withdrawn around $710 million from Indian equities since the beginning of this month, pulling the index down by more than 6.5%.

Non-ferrous metal producer Sterlite Industries and aluminium producer Hindalco were up 1.7% and 1% respectively.

London copper prices rose close to their record high, lifted by positive US earnings expectations and budding confidence in Europe’s top economy Germany.

The IT sector index was down 0.6% after rising 4.4% over the previous two sessions. Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro shed between 0.2% and 1.2%.

Top engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro dropped 1.6%, a day after Citigroup cut the stock to “hold" from “buy" citing a challenging macro environment, poor inflows in the third quarter and order cancellations.

Top lender State Bank of India and private-sector lender HDFC Bank were down 0.8% and 0.6% respectively. Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp eased 0.1%.

Bajaj Auto, the country’s no. 2 motorcycle maker, was down 0.4% ahead of its quarterly earnings.

In the broader market, gainers were more than double the number of losers in a volume of 128 million shares.


State-run gas transporter GAIL India was down 1.9% at 468.85 after its 12.7% rise in quarterly profit fell short of investors’ expectations, two dealers said.

Software services firm HCL Technologies was up 4.1% at 508.50 after a better-than-expected 34.2% jump in consolidated quarterly net profit.