Saturday, March 26, 2011

Indian Shares End at Two-Month High

MUMBAI – Indian shares rose for the fourth straight session to end at a two-month high Friday as investors unwound short positions ahead of a derivatives expiry next week, while technology stocks led by Infosys Technologies gained on a bullish demand outlook.

The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index climbed 464.90 points, or 2.5%, to close at 18815.64 after moving between 18480.69 and 18858.30. The Sensex, which last finished above this level on Jan. 25, gained 5.2% this week.

On the National Stock Exchange, the 50-stock S&P CNX Nifty added 131.85 points, or 2.4%, to end at 5654.25.

Trading volume on the BSE fell to 32.90 billion rupees ($736 million) from Thursday's 35.34 billion rupees. Gainers outnumbered decliners 1,727 to 1,199, while 114 stocks were unchanged.

"A lot of the short positions which were built during the earthquake in Japan were unwound today ahead of the expiry of March derivatives [next] Thursday," said Alex Mathews, head of research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services. Mr. Mathews, however, said he doesn't believe that the uptrend can be sustained in coming sessions and expects the Sensex to face stiff technical resistance around the 18,900 mark.

All 30 Sensex constituents ended higher Friday.

Software companies led the gains as robust earnings from Oracle Corp. and Accenture PLC reinforced the view that global spending on technology is likely to pick up. Accenture also boosted its revenue outlook as it expects corporate spending to keep strengthening. The bullish forecast spurred buying in Indian technology companies.

Infosys jumped 5.2% to 3,162.00 rupees, Tata Consultancy Services rose 2.3% to 1,118.20 rupees and Wipro closed 3.7% higher at 455.85 rupees.

Property developer DLF surged 6.2% to 248.60 rupees after touching a one-month high of 250.60 rupees on heavy bargain buying.

Banking shares continued their good run on expectation that banks will repeat the previous quarter's strong earnings performance. ICICI Bank rose 3.6% to 1,090.85 rupees, taking the week's gains to 8.7%, while HDFC Bank climbed 3.2% to 2,261.80 rupees.

Among other gainers, power producer NTPC rose 3.8% to 182.25 rupees while engineering company Larsen & Toubro added 3.2% to 1,598.30 rupees.


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