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Markets gain amid firm global cues

Last updated on: July 19, 2012 16:37 IST

BSEBenchmark share indices ended higher on Thursday, amid firm global cues, led by gains in index heavyweights Reliance Industries and Infosys.

The 30-share Sensex ended at 17,279 up 94 points or 0.55% and the 50-share Nifty ended at 5,243 up by 26 points or 0.51%. The Sensex and the Nifty reached an intra-day high of 17,319 levels and 5,258 mark, respectively.

Meanwhile, the rupee today strengthened by 15 paise to trade at 55.33 against the dollar in early trade on the Interbank Foreign Exchange, as the American currency weakened against other currencies overseas.

On the global front, Japan's Nikkei share average ticked up on Thursday, helped by increased confidence in tech shares such as Advantest after Intel cut its profit forecast less than feared, and investors moved from defensives to riskier yet undervalued assets.

The Nikkei rose 0.8 percent to 8,795.55, while the broader Topix index's advanced 0.9 percent to 747.13, snapping nine straight days of losses, its longest losing streak in three years.

European shares rose to 11-week highs on Thursday as strong U.S. corporate profits lifted sentiment, while signs of stress in the European debt market kept the single currency trading just above a two-year low.

Pressure also remains on the dollar after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke kept alive talk of more monetary easing in his latest remarks to the U.S. Congress, though he played down the risks of a double-dip recession. CAC, DAX and FTSE have gained between 0.2-0.5%.

Back home, BSE IT index surged by almost 2% followed by counters like Consumer Durable, Oil & Gas, Metal, Power and Capital Goods, all gaining by almost 1% each. However, BSE Auto and FMCG indices ended marginally negative.

IT major and index heavyweight Infosys was the top Sensex gainer, up nearly 3% on value buying at lower levels after the stock witnessed selling pressure last week following lower dollar revenue guidance for FY13. Wipro and TCS gained between 0.4-1%.

Index heavyweight Reliance Inds gained by almost 2%.

Nomura upgraded Reliance Industries to "buy" from "neutral" on Thursday, saying exploration and production risks have already been priced into share valuations, and adding a weak currency will help boost earnings.

From the Consumer Durable space, Bajaj Electricals, Gitanjali Gems, Rajesh Exports, Titan Inds, TTK Prestige and Whirlpool gained between 1-4%.

Among Capital Goods segment, BHEL and L&T surged between 0.4-2%. Shares in Bharat Heavy Electricals and Larsen & Toubro gained on media reports the cabinet will meet on Thursday to discuss import duties in power equipments.

Power equipment makers have long clamoured for duties citing competition from cheaper imports, especially from China. Tata Power has surged by almost 2%.

From the Metal space, Hindalco, JSPL, Sterlite and Tata Steel shined between 1-2%. Jindal Steel and Power jumped on reports that the company is in discussions to acquire controlling stake in Canada's CIC Energy.

Banking and financial shares like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and HDFC surged between 0.4-1%.

On the losing side, Maruti Suzuki dropped nearly 9% after a clash erupted between workers and the managerial staff at its Manesar plant, forcing stoppage of work.

Other notable losers included Bharti Airtel, Hero Moto, ITC, SBI, ONGC and Dr Reddy's Lab.

Among individual shares, Karur Vysya Bank ended lower by 3% after the stock turned ex-dividend today.

CRISIL Ltd ended lower by3% after the company posted a minor decline in net profit at Rs 43.7 crore for the second quarter ended June 2012 as against Rs 44.4 crore in the same period a year ago.

Steelcast Ltd ended 8% higher after the company reported a 20.41% rise in net profit to Rs 2.95 crore for the quarter ended June 30.

Meanwhile, Meanwhile, BSE Midcap index gained by 1% whereas BSE Smallcap index closed up 0.8%.

The market breadth in BSE ended healthy with 1079 shares advancing and 1627 shares declining.

Surabhi Roy in Mumbai